Greipel sprints back to green
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Greipel sprints back to green

by Bjorn Haake at 12:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Race Reports and Results
 

Columbia's André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) stormed back into the green jersey with his win in Puertollano, during the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España. There were no changes in the overall as the peloton slowly inched towards Madrid with an average speed of 35 km/h.

Greipel did not have too much trouble leaving William Bonnet and Daniele Bennati behind. "There were a lot of corners in the end, that was difficult," he said.

One of the riders expected to be a factor in the sprint was Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step), who won a stage in the Vuelta last year. But the Belgian crashed with three kilometers to go, alongside Julian Dean and Roger Hammond. No one was seriously hurt.

Greipel lost the green jersey when he was in a large group finishing outside the time limit on stage 13. Everybody was allowed to continue the race, but 25 points were subtracted from their points tally, putting Spaniard Alejandro Valverde temporarily into the green jersey lead as well.

One goes it alone

The race started out with a battle for the KOM after less then seven kilometers, where David Moncoutié (Cofidis) held off David De La Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) once again to earn maximum points.

Shortly thereafter, Jesús Rosendo (Andalucía-Cajasur) went on the attack and quickly gained time. By the second climb at kilometer 47, he was already over 11 minutes ahead of the peloton. Moncoutié led the bunch over the top, followed by De La Fuente.

Rosendo increased his lead to 12 minutes, before Columbia took over and cut into the lead, trying to get the points jersey back for Greipel.

Rosendo was caught with 18km to go. Then the sprinters' teams kept the pace high to discourage lone attackers and set up the sprint, which Greipel took easily.

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