André Greipel wins opening stage Tour of Britain
After strong teamwork
André Greipel has conquered a second stage win at the Tour of Britain. The German was the fastest in the fourth stage, between Nuneaton and Royal Leamington Spa.
The break of the day consisted of six riders. The sprint teams, with Jens Keukeleire contributing for Lotto Soudal, didn’t give the escapees more than two minutes advantage. Still, it lasted until three and a half kilometres from the finish line for all breakaway riders to be caught. Jasper De Buyst brought André Greipel in a perfect position into the last hectometres and just like in the first stage the German sprinted to victory. Sacha Modolo got second, ahead of Patrick Bevin.
André Greipel: “All the big teams in the peloton aimed for a stage win today, and so did we. Jens Keukeleire made a very strong impression today in the pursuit of the break. He rode at the front of the peloton until we had caught all escapees. Moreno Hofland and Jasper De Buyst did a great job positioning me for the sprint. They led me into the last corner perfectly and that was very crucial. I won the sprint thanks to that optimal position in the corner. Jasper brought me into the perfect position for the sprint. I was where I wanted to be. Our plan worked out brilliantly. It was my plan to go full from the corner, at 300 metres from the finish, which was far but I made it. I’m happy that I could give the team another stage win here.”
I've won the sprint thanks to my optimal position in the last corner
“We have five riders left in the team after Jelle Vanendert had to abandon, so that’s one man less to help control a breakaway as we also need enough riders in the sprint preparation. James Shaw had a mechanical in the last kilometres, so he couldn’t be of service anymore. The riders in the break were also strong and that’s why it lasted so long to catch them. But in the end it all came back together and we could do the sprint as planned.”
The eleventh stage of La Vuelta was the longest of this edition, with a total distance of nearly 208 kilometres. The profile suited the breakaway riders and because many were interested, it took more than one hundred kilometres until a break got the necessary freedom. Tiesj Benoot was one of the nineteen escapees. Because GC rider Thibaut Pinot was also part of the break, they didn’t get more than four minutes advantage. Alessandro De Marchi soloed to victory. Tiesj Benoot finished sixth, at 1’46”.