Cavendish delighted Greipel tactic worked


Mark Cavendish was pleased to capitalise on an early charge from Andre Greipel in a dramatic sprint finish to the third stage of the Tour de France.

After leading duo Armindo Fonseca (Fortuneo - Vital Concept) and Tommy Voeckler (Direct Energie) were caught with eight kilometres of the 223.5km stage to go, Lotto-Soudal rider Greipel led the final sprint.

Cavendish tucked in behind the German before pulling out and charging across the line in a photo finish, matching Bernard Hinault's 28 Tour victories with only Eddy Merckx having won more.

The Dimension Data rider positioned himself behind Greipel intentionally and was happy the plan worked out to his benefit.

"I normally know when I won or I lose. When I crossed the line, I kind of knew I got it today but anything can happen," said Cavendish.

"I knew I had to come from behind. I wanted to be behind Greipel to launch my sprint. He took me by surprise but I'm happy I did it.

"I thought Andre would go because he didn't win the other day. He got a real second wind, which surprised me. He just went too early.

"My team-mates were phenomenal. It's superb for Dimension Data. We came here, we made our sponsors proud."

Greipel pumped his fist in celebration as he crossed the line, but admitted selecting a higher gear may have cost him the win.

"I think the last six kilometres were quite messy with a lot of corners, there wasn't a lot of organisation," he said.

"It was really hard to stay together with the team and I just tried to stay somewhere near the front with [team-mate] Jurgen Roelandts, in the end he brought me into a really good position and I think I just made one mistake and it was a kind of reflex to go into the biggest gear.

"If I had kept it in the gear I had then I think I would have made it."