Team Lotto Belisol helped usher Andre Greipel toward his second career Tour de France victory during Stage 4 today.
The German sprinter also collected his 15th race win of the season—an impressive number to reach in July—and should have a boost in morale.
Unfortunately, Team Sky's Mark Cavendish crashed with less than three kilometers left to go in the stage, with other riders also going down hard. We'll have to wait until Stage 5 tomorrow and Stage 6 on Saturday for a sprinter battle again—before two mountain stages and an individual time trial (ITT)
Race leader Fabian Cancellara was able to retain the yellow jersey because of race rules that give everyone the same time if an incident happens within three kilometers of the finish line.
Greipel was clearly happy following the stage when speaking with the media (via CBC.ca):
“There were still really fast guys there for the sprint and I think we just deserve this victory. I think it's no question about that. I won a stage in the Tour de France!”
Greipel also was quick to praise his team with the following tweet:
What a team!!!I appreciate this support by the team! @Lotto_Belisol TRAIN was incredible. Already hard to stay on the wheels!Awesome guys!!!— Andre Greipel (@AndreGreipel) July 4, 2012
The German sprinter has all of the right tools to collect stage wins: fast legs, good finishing kick, a bit of luck and a team dedicated to drag him to the finish line in the right position.
Greipel served as a loyal lead-out man for Cavendish—his Team Sky rival—when they both rode together on the Columbia-HTC cycling team. Finally able to fight for sprints with his own lead-out train, today was the first of at least one more stage win during this Tour.