Andre Greipel won the sixth stage of the Tour of Britain after winning the bunch gallop into Great Yarmouth today.
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Having taken the opener in Blackpool, the German HTC-Columbia sprinter took his second stage victory of the race ahead of Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil), Lucas Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Team Sky’s Greg Henderson.
The bunch contested the fight for first place after sweeping up Australia’s Cameron Meyer just before the kilometre to go banner.
The Garmin-Transitions rider had spent much of the tailwind-assisted stage out front after attacking early in the day with Jeremy Hunt.
After Hunt dropped back to the bunch, Jaroslav Marycz (Saxo Bank) moved forward to replace him and the two built up a lead of seven minutes as the race traced the north Norfolk coast from the start in Kings Lynn round to Cromer.
After moving south towards Norwich and then out again towards the east coast, the gap started to come down with the chase led by Sky.
Into the streets of the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth, Meyer attacked and disposed of his companion. Fully committed he made a bold attempt to resist the chase, but ultimately it had been timed to perfection.
Although the work had largely been done by Sky hoping to boost Greg Henderson’s overall position with time bonuses, it was HTC who benefited most.
“We didn’t expect this today,” admitted Greipel. “We had just four riders left in the team today and we had to support our team leader.”
Although HTC’s Michael Albasini was purple with cold and looking very under the weather at the finish, he continues to lead the race.
“Yesterday at the start I didn’t feel very good,” he admitted. “Because I’m in the jersey I have to fight for it. But if I wasn’t in the jersey, maybe I’d already be at home.”
Several other riders have gone down with illness during the tour. Dan Martin did not start this morning while Geraint Thomas has also been suffering with sickness.
Courtesy of his second place finish on the stage, Bozic has moved into second place overall at 1-26 and relegated Richie Porte into third at 1-27. While Kiwi Henderson maintains fourth, Rob Partridge (Endura) continues to be Britain’s best placed rider in eighth.
Tour of Britain 2010, stage six: King’s Lynn-Great Yarmouth, 190km
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia 4-09-05
2. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil
3. Lucas Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
4. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky
5. Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri
6. Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
7. Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano
8. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
9. Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano
10. Ed Clancy (GB) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta all same time
Overall classification after stage six
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Columbia in 24-02-14
2. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil at 1-26
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank at 1-27
4. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky at 1-33
5. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil at 1-37
6. Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD-Neri Giambenini at 2-08
7. Christian Meier (Can) Garmin-Transitions at 2-30
8. Rob Partridge (GB) Endura at 2-32
9. Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano at 2-43
10. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 3-36
Andre Greipel takes the win in Great Yarmouth