André Greipel rues crash as he comes second in Eneco Tour photo finish

German champion André Greipel says a crash with 1km to go on stage four of the Eneco Tour may have cost him the victory

Andre Greipel places a close second to Peter Sagan on stage four of the Eneco Tour
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Sprinter André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) has said getting caught behind a crash with 1km to go on stage four of the Eneco Tour was instrumental in his loss to Peter Sagan in a photo finish.

Greipel came a close second to Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), who clashed with Arnaud Demare (FDJ) in the finishing straight.

He said he had been caught behind Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange) who crashed and was fortunate to escape with just abrasions.

>>> Peter Sagan takes Eneco Tour lead with stage four win

Greipel said: “I was behind the crash at 1km I was maybe 40th position. Jürgen Roelandts brought me up to the front again and I choose the wheel of Sagan.

“He was fighting with Demare, I though they were going to crash at one point. So I hesitated a little bit and if you lose by one cm you are not first and that is sport.”

He added: “If you come back from 1km to go from 40th position you are not fresh at all, you have to wait and time it. I timed it wrong in the end.”

The German sprinter added that his team had been the “only team” to “take responsibility” for chasing down the day’s breakaway and that had depleted his lead-out train for the final kilometres.

Sagan offered a similar assessment of his win saying he was fortunate that Greipel ran out of road to get ahead.

“After I start my sprint André was behind me and he starts to sprint also, maybe a bit later, and that’s why I won because he passed me very fast but it was already finished. I was a bit lucky today,” he said.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.