Lotto’s Andre Greipel, claimed his third stage win at the 2012 Tour de France in a photo finish with sprint rival, Liquigas Cannondale’s Peter Sagan. The yellow jersey wearer himself, Bradley Wiggins, tried to set up Sky teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen for the win, who only managed third. After a controversial sprint by fourth placed AG2R’s Bernhard Hinault, South Africa’s Daryl Impey finished fifth, proving he can match the best in the world.
A long transitional stage can, at times, be nothing more than a procession but the 13th stage of the 2012 Tour was anything but an stock standard sprint stage. A steep climb 23km from the finish ensured that some of the big name sprint specialists were eliminated from the rush to the line.
In the final kilometre we were again reminded of the strength of Bradley Wiggins who was the last lead-out man before the sprinters who were able to stay in contact with the front group over the Mont Saint-Clair opened hit the turbo buttons. It was an effort from the race leader that almost delivered Edvald Boasson Hagen to the line first but the Norwegian simply couldn’t hold off the charge of André Greipel and Peter Sagan who were first and second on a day that Orica-GreenEdge had hoped it would get revenge for the decision by the race jury to penalise Matt Goss 30 points for his sprint in stage 12. Goss, however, was one of the men eliminated (hence giving Impey the green light for the sprint) and he would finish well behind and his main rival for the green jersey missed out on a fourth stage win by about half a wheel. Greipel is now ranked second in the points classification and his third win in the 2012 Tour sees him 29 points ahead of Goss and 34 points behind Sagan.
Top 10 Stage 13
1. Andre Greipel (GER/LTB) 4h57min 59sec (average: 43.7 km/h)
2. Peter Sagan (SVK/LIQ) at 0:00.
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/SKY) 0:00.
4. Sebastien Hinault (FRA/ALM) 0:00.
5. Daryl Impey (RSA/GEC) 0:00.
6. Julien Simon (FRA/SAU) 0:00.
7. Marco Marcato (ITA/VAC) 0:00.
8. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 0:00.
9. Peter Velits (SVK/OPQ) 0:00.
10. Danilo Hondo (GER/LAM) 0:00.