Eneco Tour: Andre Greipel takes victory in stage four sprint finish
Andre Greipel made it fourth time lucky at the Eneco Tour to claim victory in the day four bunch sprint.
Last Updated: 15/08/13 4:51pm
The powerful German (Lotto-Belisol) bounced back after his team's miscalculation in the sprint on Wednesday to win comfortably into Vlijmen.
Greipel out-kicked Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Leopard) on the home straight while third place was enough to elevate Lars Boom (Belkin) into the overall race lead.
The Dutchman took to the podium in his hometown with a slender one-second lead over Greipel, with overnight jersey holder Arnaud Demare (FDJ) still in touch in third place, three seconds down.
The general classification is set to be turned on its head on Friday with a 13.2-kilometre time trial in Sittard-Geleen likely to see time gaps open out. Sir Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky will begin the stage among the favourites after keeping his powder dry during the race thus far.
The day kicked off in Essen on wet roads but it wasn't long before another quartet of riders went clear - Pim Lighart (Vacansoleil-DCM) joined by Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaandren - Baloise), Ioannis Tamouridis (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Staf Scheirlinckx (Accent.Jobs) to forge ahead on a largely flat stage.
With no significant climbs the stage provided a final chance for the sprinters, the gap to the break hitting 5:48 before being pegged by the FDJ squad of leader Demare.
The deficit was then halved after a stint from Katusha on the front before order was restored and Greek champion Tamouridis was the last man to be reeled in with 10km to go.
A crash with 4km later took the likes of Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) out of sprint contention as the peloton split up briefly following the melee. After a frustrating start to the race Greipel finally bagged a win but was denied the lead by a resilient Boom.