Greipel Grabs Columbia-HTC's Third Vuelta Stage Win and Overall Vuelta Lead
Team Columbia-HTC's Andre Greipel has taken his second successive stage win and moved into the overall lead of the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday. The German speedster was the fastest in the bunch sprint that decided the day's racing from Tarragona to Vinaros.
After teammate Greg Henderson's win on stage three in Holland and Greipel's victory on stage four in Belgium, Columbia-HTC has now racked up three straight triumphs in the Vuelta.
"I had a tough time when the race came back here to Spain on Wednesday. It was so much hotter than in Belgium, so I didn't know what my condition would be like. In fact, I spent most of the rest day shut up in my hotel room with the air conditioning on full blast! But I felt a lot better today as the stage went on and I managed to come through for the victory."
Already the leader of the points competition, Greipel is now in top position in the overall classification as well.
"We'll defend both leads as best we can for as long as we can" commented Columbia-HTC sports director Brian Holm. "It was a very difficult finish, with a steep climb inside the last 10 kilometres but we got through it ok. [Columbia-HTC rider] Vicente Reynes remembered this finish from the 2005 race and kept us all informed so the guys were all at the front. After that it was tricky, but we came through well. André's in great shape, and although tomorrow's stage is harder than today's he won't give up his race lead so easily.