Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Greipel Wins Stage 15 at Tour De France

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Greipel Wins Stage 15 at Tour De France

Article excerpt

VALENCE, France * Andre Greipel took his third stage victory of this Tour de France by winning a bunch sprint at the end of Stage 15 on Sunday, while Britain's Chris Froome remained in control of the overall race lead on a day when French police boosted security around his team.

Greipel, the Lotto-Soudal rider from Germany, powered to the line at Valence.

John Degenkolb of the Giant-Alpecin team was second, Katusha's Alexander Kristoff third and Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo finished fourth on the 114-mile stage from Mende.

Police stationed half a dozen officers around Froome's Team Sky bus at the start after the race leader complained the previous day that a spectator shouting "Doper!" in French hurled a cup of urine at him on Stage 14.

Froome blamed what he called "very irresponsible" media for turning public opinion against him and his team by questioning their dominant performance. Froome repeated that claim at the finish in Valence.

"What I am saying is that if people are led to believe that these performances are not legitimate, that's what's going to push them to start booing, and to start punching and spitting and throwing urine on riders," Froome said.

Because of its flat finish, Stage 15 represented the last opportunity for sprinters to shine before climbers take back the spotlight in the Alps in the last week after a rest day on Tuesday.

Mark Cavendish, the only rider to beat Greipel in a massed bunch sprint at this Tour, wasn't able to compete for the win in Valence because he was dropped by the speeding pack early in the stage that was hilly at the beginning.

Telling himself "You have to hang on here," Greipel managed to stay with the pack that rode at a furious pace over the bumpy terrain, determined not to let breakaway riders take the stage win.

At Valence, Greipel and his team positioned him neatly for the final sprint. …

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