German finally gets Tour de France stage win

Andre Greipel crosses the finish line ahead of Thor Hushovd (right) and Jose Joaquin Rojas to win the 10th stage. The German also beat out ex-teammate Mark Cavendish for his first Tour de France stage victory.

CARMAUX, France --- After all the feuding and hard words, Andre Greipel finally got what he wanted and it had nothing to do with talk: a winning ride in the Tour de France.


The German sprinter beat Mark Cavendish -- his former teammate and sometimes adversary -- by a wheel Tuesday to capture the 10th stage of a race that is soon to leave the flatlands for the climbs of the Pyrenees.

Thomas Voeckler, of France, kept the yellow jersey after nestling safely in the main pack for most of the day. Defending champion Alberto Contador did the same, and the Spaniard had even more reason to be careful after hurting his right knee during crashes in the fifth and ninth stages.

"At the beginning of the stage, I wasn't sure what to think," said Contador, a three-time champion. "But as the stage progressed my knee was feeling less sore."

Contador, the best climber in the world, trails main rivals Cadel Evans, of Australia, and Andy Schleck, of Luxembourg, by 1:41 and 1:30 entering today's flat run.

Greipel and Cavendish clashed last year while on the HTC-Highroad team. Greipel, who now rides for Omega Pharma-Lotto team, was in a conciliatory mood.

"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."

Tour de France

CARMAUX, France --- A brief look at Tuesday's 10th stage:

STAGE: A 98-mile flat ride from Aurillac to Carmaux.

WINNER: Andrei Greipel, of Germany, who stormed past Britian's Mark Cavendish in the last 12 miles with a late burst of speed to edge out his rival and take his first Tour stage win.

YELLOW JERSEY: Thomas Voeckler, of France, who spent his first day in yellow after taking the overall lead from Thor Hushovd, of Norway, on Sunday.

WHERE'S CONTADOR? The three-time winner finished safely without losing any time to his principal rivals. Contador, who was riding with a sore right knee, said after the race he is getting back to full fitness. He is 16th overall, 4:07 behind Voeckler.

NEXT: Today's 104-mile stage will take riders from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur.

-- Associated Press


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