Greipel again! HTC calling team Sky, come in Sky, over. – TDU

Thanks again to steephill.tv for the picture link

Are you kidding me? Ok, I predicted Greipel to win, but this isn’t even close. As well, after a good showing in the Henderson-won, pre-race, cancer classic, it’s been all cloudy for team sky. Today, the boys in black and blue, seemed to be just that, as they were nowhere to be found, finishing the sprint outside the top ten! An interesting addition to the final sprint was none other than Cardoso, yesterday’s winner and the Portuguese national champ. He seems to fit the mould of a compact sprinter like a Valverde or Cunego. Perhaps the best thing for Cardoso is he gets to wear a slightly different national champions jersey and doesn’t have to wear one of those awful footon-servetto jerseys.

The stage today was supposed to be one for someone fitting the style of Cardoso or Valverde to contend, but Greipel was there and that can only mean one thing. As for Valverde, sitting third in the standings going into today’s stage, he finished in 55th, 17 seconds back and effectively eliminated any chance of winning the overall…if there ever was a chance. Greipel’s domination, combined with his time bonuses to-date have made for an almost insurmountable lead going into stage 5. Tomorrows stage does feature the biggest climb of the race – the Willunga Hill – twice, so I had some thoughts that a climbing sprinter like Valverde could perhaps put the pressure on Andre the Giant, but it’s unlikely now. The only rider fitting this profile now is Cadel Evans @ ’26 seconds so he would have to put about 40 into Greipel and quite frankly, I don’t know if the form is there. He may be motivated on his home turf though, so I wouldn’t bet against him trying, as it would also be a great way to say hello and thank you to the new BMC team management.

Stage 4 Results:
1 GREIPEL Andre______HTC-Columbia
2 McEWEN Robbie_____Katusha
3 BROWN Graeme_____Rabobank
4 STEEGSMANS Gert___Radio Shack
5 CARDOSO Manuel____Footon – Servetto
6 DEAN Julian_________Garmin – Transitions
7 ROELANDTS Jurgen___Omega Pharma – Lotto
8 GOSS Matthew______HTC-Columbia
9 FOERSTER Robert____Milam
10 HUTAROVICH Y._____Francaise des Jeux

General Classification after 4 of 6 stages

1 GREIPEL Andre______HTC-Columbia___13:23:57
2 McEWEN Robbie____ Katyusha________0:00:20
3 HENDERSON Greg___ Team Sky_______0:00:24

7 EVANS Cadel ______Team BMC_______0:00:26

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