HTC-Columbia’s Andre Greipel bagged his second stage win in this year’s Tour of Britain with a bunch sprint victory in Great Yarmouth.
Greipel, leaving for Omega Pharma-Lotto at the end of the season, claimed the opening stage in Blackpool five days ago and proved too quick yet again in Norfolk.
“We were not so fresh at all with just four riders left in the race [after the withdrawal of Tony Martin through illness], so it was quite a good powerful beginning to the stage for the team,” said Greipel.
“We tried to keep the breakaway as small as possible as we were all pretty tired from the last two days.
“We were happy that just two riders were away and we could sit on as the other riders chased the breakaway down.
“At the end we were focused on the sprint, and Bert Grabsch and Mark Renshaw gave me a really good position, and quite a good leadout from Mark. I think we can be really happy with this victory.
“Sky had to chase the breakaway down, so there was no one left to do the leadout, so we were just sitting on and with two kilometres to go we went, and that’s how it was.”
Team Sky controlled the front of the peloton throughout, pulling back escapees Jaroslav Marycz of Team Saxo Bank and Cameron Meyer of Garmin-Transitions in hope of setting up their Kiwi sprinter Greg Henderson.
With the peloton closing, Meyer looked to attack again in the final 10 kilometres but, with HTC-Columbia also driving the pace in aid of Greipel and overall leader Michael Albasini, the 22-year-old Australian was reeled in with one kilometre to go.
And that left Greipel to sweep up, while Albasini finished safely in the bunch to remain in the yellow jersey.
But Team Sky’s Henderson, fourth on GC after stage six, insists he is capable of taking top spot come London.
“The aim’s the overall in London,” said. “And I have to try and get on the podium. It’s a very important race for us, a home race, and at the moment I’m in fourth place so I’m chasing time bonuses along the road and chasing time bonuses at the finish.
“But it’s been a long hard week and it’s taken its toll on not only myself but the whole team, who are riding full gas for me.”
Stage six results
1) Andre Greipel – Team HTC–Columbia – 4:09:05
2) Borut Bozic – Vacansoleil Pro Cycling – @ same time
3) Lucas Sebastien Haedo – Team Saxo Bank – @ same time
Honda Combativity Award Winner: Cameron Meyer – Garmin-Transitions
General classification standings (after stage six)
1) Michael Albasini – Team HTC–Columbia – 24h 02m 14s
2) Borut Bozic – Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team – @ 1m 26s
3) Richie Porte – Team Saxo Bank – @ 1m 27s
The Prostate Cancer Charity points jersey standings (after stage six)
1) Greg Henderson – Sky Professional Cycling Team – 48pts
2) Borut Bozic – Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team – 42pts
3) Michael Albasini – Team HTC–Columbia – 39pts
King of the Mountains jersey standings (after stage six)
1) Johnny Hoogerland – Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team – 54pts
2) Richie Porte – Team Saxo Bank – 45pts
3) Dan Martin – Garmin – Transitions – 32pts
Sprints jersey standings (after stage six)
1) Michal Golas – Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team – 27pts
2) Richie Porte – Team Saxo Bank – 18pts
3) Johnny Hoogerland – Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team – 15pts