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Greipel let's his bike do talking at Tour

Greipel let's his bike do talking at Tour

Andre Greipel let his bike do the talking as he finally beat his former teammate Mark Cavendish to win Tuesday's 10th stage of the Tour de France.
The two were teammates _ or rather adversaries _ on the HTC-Highroad team last year, where they openly feuded.
Turning for the line, Cavendish attacked first with his brutal acceleration taking him clear to what looked like his 18th career Tour stage win. Instead, Greipel got on his wheel and surged ahead at the finish to get his first ever.
The 28-year-old Greipel, who now rides for the Omega Pharma-Lotto team, was understandably elated at winning a stage on his first ever Tour, and he was in a conciliatory mood toward his former nemesis.
"I have a lot of respect for Cavendish, he was won 17 stages of the Tour de France. Now I have one," Greipel said. "He was not always really friendly with his comments (about) me. This is not my level. I just try to show on the bike what I am able to do. I always said to my teammates that we need to believe in our race and do on our own things."
Spanish rider Jose Joaquin Rojas of Spain was third. The top three completed the 158-kilometer (98.2-mile) route from Aurillac to Carmaux in 3 hours, 31 minutes, 21 seconds.
Cavendish is one of the most outspoken cyclists around, his comments are untamed and sometimes scathing.
But after beating Greipel to win last Friday's seventh stage in Chateauroux _ in much the same way Greipel beat him on Tuesday with a late sprint _ the two cleared the air.
"We had a chat after the Chateauroux stage and he said 'I have a big respect for your sprint'" Greipel said. "He has shown he is one of the fastest sprinters on earth."
Cavendish repaid the compliment, giving credit where it was due.
"Now I'm happy for him. He's come to the Tour de France and he's won," Cavendish said. "I feel I made a mistake but Greipel beat me so there's not an excuse I can say."
Cavendish, who feels the Tour's intermediate sprints are taking some of his pace away, still thinks he should have timed his run better.
"I didn't commit early enough, I didn't kick. I kind of rolled round the last corner, and kicked with 170 to go," Cavendish said. "Greipel just came past me and beat me."
Greipel comes across as a placid, mild-mannered character, so much so that his team told him to be more aggressive. The message seems to be sinking in.
"When I step off my bike I'm a really, really nice guy," Greipel said. "Of course I have to learn to be a bit more aggressive on the bike ... actually for the sprint you need this."
Meanwhile, French rider Thomas Voeckler kept the yellow jersey after nestling safely in the main pack for most of the day.
Defending champion Alberto Contador did much the same, and the Spaniard had even more reason to be careful after hurting his right knee in two crashes during the fifth and ninth stages of the race.
"At the beginning of the stage, I wasn't sure what to think, but as the stage progressed my knee was feeling less sore," three-time champion Contador said.
Contador, the best climber in the world, trails his main rivals Cadel Evans of Australia and Andy Schleck of Luxembourg by 1:41 and 1:30 respectively ahead of Wednesday's flat stage.
But he is already looking ahead to the first big mountain stage in the Pyrenees on Thursday.
"Hopefully, another day in the peloton can make me ready for the big climbs," Contador said. "I will do everything I can to reach Paris as the winner. I feel better."
Cavendish looked odds-on to seal his third stage win of this year's Tour, and 18th of his career, when he turned into the final straight and pedaled hard.
But Greipel timed his attack to perfection, storming past Cavendish in the last 20 meters with a late burst of speed to edge out his rival, punching the air in delight as he crossed the line for his first Tour stage win.
"It's the moment I've been waiting for all year," Greipel said. "It's the most beautiful race in the world and the most famous. To win here is sensational."
Greipel looked tearful as he celebrated his win on the podium.
He also found a moment to dedicate the win to his teammate Jurgen Van Den Broeck, who injured himself in Sunday's crash-marred nine stage and had to pull out, along with other injured riders like Kazakh star Alexandre Vinokourov and American rider David Zabriskie.
"It wasn't easy for us to lose a rider like him," Greipel said. "I'm pretty sure he would (have been) on the podium in Paris. He told me this morning 'go for the victory.' I'm really happy to give him this victory."
Wednesday's 11th stage is a flat run for sprinters, taking the riders on a 167.5-kilometer (104.1-mile) from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur.
For the likes of Contador and Schleck, their minds are already on Thursday's huge climbs.
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AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin and Associated Press writer Greg Keller contributed to this report.
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Updated : 2021-03-07 14:31 GMT+08:00