German Andre Greipel has won the 13th stage of the 2012 Tour de France
- Leo Schlink in Annonay Davezieux
- From:Herald Sun
STAGE WINNER, GERMANY’S ANDRE GREIPEL, CELEBRATES ON THE FINISH LINE AT THE END OF THE 217KM 13TH STAGE OF THE 2012 TOUR DE FRANCE. AFP
CADEL Evans’s daunting Tour de France assignment remains unchanged after German Andre Greipel won the 13th stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
Evans remains fourth overall, 3mins,19secs, behind Bradley Wiggins after the 217km stage in heat and wind.
The Victorian was also unable to claw back any time on England’s Chris Froome and Italian Vincenzo Nibali, but remains only 56secs out of third place.
But Tasmanian Matt Goss lost more ground in the green jersey battle to Slovakian Peter Sagan.
Sagan finished second on the stage to Greipel and topped Goss in the intermediate sprint.
Goss has now slipped to third in the sprinters’ category with 203 points behind Sagan (296) and Greipel (232).
Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen was third in the stage, with Orica-GreenEDGE’s South African all-rounder Daryl Impey an impressive fourth.
Appropriately, there was a strong French influence in the breakaway as the host nation celebrated the anniversary of the 1789 Bastille uprising in the French revolution
Of the eight, five were French – Maxime Bouet, Jerome Pineau, Matthieu Ladagnous, Samuel Dumoulin and Jimmy Engoulvent.
The quintet was joined by Dane Michael Morkov, Dutchman Roy Curvers and Spaniard Pablo Urtasun.
World madison champion Morkov had the most to ride for as he attempted to mark the fifth anniversary of his father’s death.
Together, the escapees reached a maximum lead of 9mins,20secs.
But as far out as 70km to travel, it was obvious the move was doomed as Orica-GreenEDGE’s Brett Lancaster, Pieter Weening and Sebastian Langeveld drove the peloton.
Morkov realised the bunch had responded, so counter-attacked 64km from the line.
Orica-GreenEDGE was then joined by BMC and Sky at the head of the chase group as the peloton split in two as the pace rose.
But just as the main bunch careened along the narrow canal into Sete, the race changed again with a string of crashes.
Morkov was claimed on the gnarly rise up to Mont St Clair in the Mediterranean resort before Evans took over with Jurgen van den Broeck.
Almost immediately, Sky covered the move and Wiggins jumped onto Evans’s wheel.
Soon after Alexandre Vinokourov and Michael Albasini counter-attacked and, with 10km to go, led by 22secs.
Greipel’s Lotto-Belisol squad took over at the front and the pair was reeled in before the Greipel held off Sagan by half a wheel.
There were several other crashes, the most serious involving Peter Vellits, who cannoned into a spectator barrier at the intermediate sprint in Mas-de-Londres.
American Dave Zabriskie also was caught up in the fall.
Japan’s Yuyika Ashahiro also came to grief as former top-10 contender Tony Gallopin abandoned the Tour.