TOUR DOWN UNDER: IT'S GREIPEL AGAIN
Stage four video highlights>>
It was another day for High Road to celebrate as André Greipel took his second stage of the Tour Down Under.
Despite a succession of breakaways and a blustery wind that made it difficult for the peloton to control the race, the sprint at the end of stage four in Strathalbyn was inevitable.
CSC and Caisse d?Epargne were two of the teams who tried to shatter the bunch in the first couple of hours of racing but the desire to bring it all back together was just too strong.
The breakaway artists have just tomorrow?s penultimate stage in which to upset the general classification or there is the likelihood this year?s Tour Down Under will result in six bunch finishes.
At least there is Willunga Hill to provide something of a springboard in the last 25 kilometres.
Otherwise the first event of the ProTour season will be decided on time bonuses ? it?s becoming a stage race version of Paris-Tours.
But it was not as easy a victory for Greipel as he enjoyed either at the Down Under Classic or a couple of days ago.
The German just about got past Mark Renshaw in the final metres before the line. The Australian preserved his slim overall lead.
But the big talking point was the crash in the final stages that saw Mathew Hayman of Rabobank dazed and confused on the tarmac 300 metres from the line.
Italian Elia Rigotto of Milram appeared to cause the crash as he moved his head sharply into Hayman's elbow as they sprinted for the line.
See the Rigotto crash here. The incident is towards the end of the video package.
Rigotto said the incident was unintentional and that his head hit Hayman's elbow as he looked up. He said he had tried to apologise to the Australian rider, who was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.
1. André Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 3-14-46
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole
3. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d?Epargne
4. Matt Goss (Aus) CSC
5. Denis Flahaut (Fra) Saunier Duval
6. Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa-Australia
7. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
8. Stuart O?Grady (Aus) CSC
9. Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step
10. Jan Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
41. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Crédit Agricole
1. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole 13-28-38
2. André Greipel (Ger) Team High Road at 4sec
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa-Australia at 7sec
4. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d?Epargne at 14sec
5. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank same time
6. Mickael Delage (Fra) Française des Jeux at 18sec
7. Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis same time
8. Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux at 19sec
9. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank at 20 sec
10. Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas at 21 sec
59. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Crédit Agricole at 24 sec
Stage four video highlights>>
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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.
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