Andre Greipel wins by centimeters in Algarve
Feb 19 2017 01:17 am CET

Andre Greipel wins by centimeters in Algarve

Andre Greipel has won the fourth stage of the Volta ao Algarve. The rider was the strongest in the final sprint and beat John Degenkolb and Dylan Groenewegen by centimeters.

The fourth stage of the Portuguese race was 204.4 kilometers long between Almodovar and Tavira with some small climbs included in the course.

After only six kilometers four riders escaped and remained in front until the finale. The group formed by Ryan Mullen (Cannondale Drapac), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and João Matias (LA Alumínios-Metalusa BlackJack) managed to create a gap of more than five minutes with the peloton.

LottoNL-Jumbo occasionally took the lead of the peloton to set a higher pace and protect the leader's jersey of Primoz Roglic, and other teams with strong sprinters like Quick-Step Floors, Cofidis and Dimension Data also helped to pull the group to force a finish suitable for them.

With around 50 kilometers to go Matias couldn't keep up with the speed of the rest of the escapees and was dropped, to be caught by the peloton shortly after.

The lead trio showed a lot of strength in the last 10 kilometers, but the peloton dragged by Quick-Step and Lotto-Soudal was to fast for them. At two kilometers from the finish line, the bunch caught the escapees and started to position itself for the final sprint.

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) were the strongest at the finish line and the latter got the victory by centimeters. The Germans were followed by Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Primoz Roglic managed to stay at the head of the General classification with one stage to go.

The last stage of the Volta ao Algarve will be 179.2 kilometers long between Loule and Alto do Malhão.
Photo of Andre Greipel (cropped) by Lotto-Soudal