Greipel Powers to Stage 4 Victory in Tour Down Under 2014
Though having to wait longer than he had hoped, André Greipel today succeeded at adding a 15th stage win to his Santos Tour Down Under victory count when he won stage 4 of this year's race in Victor Harbor; General Classification and former World Champion Cadel Evans of Team BMC Racing was put under pressure but managed to remain in light.
keep going for the intermediate sprints they can eat away at seven seconds pretty quickly.
"It’s certainly not my area of expertise and Simon is good in the sprints and has a very, very good team for that.... but we’ll see what happens on the way to Willunga. With the finish line at the top I think everyone is going to be looking at Willunga of course, and it goes back into my area of racing and experience.
"Of course to win the race I’m going to have to do something pretty special there."
Gerrans tried to grab more seconds on Evans at the finish but just missed out placing fourth across the line.
"It would have been great to finish one place higher and get more time bonus but a flat bunch sprint finish isn’t my speciality," said Gerrans. "With two stages to go, the race for the overall win remains wide open. The race is far from won."
Meantime Greipel, who was pipped for the win in Sunday's People's Choice Classic and was second again in the San Remo Pasta Stage 1, had earmarked today as his and he was piloted to the finishing straight by the Lotto-Belisol express. Right behind him was team mate Jurgen Roelandts from Belgium with Italian Elia Viviani (Cannondale) third.
"I was always confident that I’d win something here. In the inaugural criterium in Adelaide and in stage 1, I just made mistakes but that can happen in sprinting," said Greipel.
"Before today’s stage, I thought this would be the first day for a sprint," said the German champion who in 2012 also won the stage into Victor Harbor and holds the event record for the most stage wins. "Coming first and second says enough of the great work our team Lotto-Belisol has done today.
"It was nervous all along, Team GreenEdge had six guys at the front of the bunch but we put pressure on them after the intermediate sprint," Greipel explained.
"I know the area of Victor Harbor pretty well. I know the last climb too. It’s quite open to the wind. The way we rode as a team makes it a well deserved win," he said.
It was a bonus that Roelandts held on for second place.
"I was a bit nervous with 8 kilometer to go because we had all the pressure to win," said Roelandts. "We hit that last chicane with André in perfect position and after leading him out, I sat up a bit, but when I saw no one coming around me, I restarted my sprint to finish second.
"That's always nice for the points and the confidence, knowing the work over the winter has paid off."
Lotto-Belisol had more reason to celebrate with Adam Hansen doing the hard yards for Greipel but still managing to hold on to the Skoda King of the Mountain category. But he admits his aim now is a high overall place (he is currently sitting in 12th place).
"To win with André is why we’re here and today was our big goal