André Greipel of Team Lotto Belisol won his second career Tour de France stage on Wednesday, taking a sprint victory in Stage 4 of the 2012 Tour de France. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) were the men he beat, coming in second and third respectively.
A crash with just 2.5km left in the race took out many of the heavy hitters, including Mark Cavendish, who went down in the crash, and Peter Sagan, who ended up stuck behind the pileup. Lotto Belisol managed to avoid the carnage, which left their team in pefect position to set up a leadout train and deliver Greipel to the line for the win. Also shut out of contention for the stage victory was local rider Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp). The Wenatchee, Washington native avoided the crash but was stuck in the resulting traffic jam.
The Generall Classification standings saw no real change in the stage, with Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) still in the lead and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC) 17 seconds out. Pacific Northwest native Chris Horner (Radioshack-Nissan) is currently in a respectable but distant position, 1:29 out of the lead.
The General Classification after Stage 4:
1) Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 20:04:02
2) Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling +:07
3) Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
4) Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team +:10
5) Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling +:11
6) Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team +:13
7) Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team +:17
8) Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale +:18
9) Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Sharp
10)Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan +:19