Reims, France (4E Sports) – Germany’s Andre Greipel pulled away in the last 350 meters to claim Stage 6 of the Tour de France Thursday.
Greipel finished the 194-kilometer ride from Arras to Reims in four hours, 11 minutes and 39 seconds to earn his sixth Tour stage victory.
“That was hard, especially in the last thirty kilometers with the side wind, it was a tough race. Maybe I didn’t have a proper lead out train but we rode like crazy at the last roundabout,” said Greipel, who also won Stage 6 last year.
“I went full gas with 350 meters to go. It was pretty early but I thought whatever happens is fine as long as I give everything. I felt a lot of pressure after the first few stages but finally we have a victory,” he added.
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali retained the yellow jersey, finished the race in 18th place with the same time as Greipel to keep a two-second edge over Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang, who placed 15th.
“I still want to take it day-by-day and keep my feet on the ground,” said Nibali.
Peter Sagan finished fifth Thursday to remain 44 seconds behind Nibali while former champion Alberto Contador was 2:37 off the lead pace after an 18th-place finish.
Greipel’s teammate Marcel Kittel, who won three of the first four stages this year, had a tire puncture in the last few kilometers and was not a factor on Thursday.
On Friday’s Stage 7, riders will tackle a 234.5-kilometer ride from Epernay to Nancy.