Greipel wants fourth stage win to blow out candles

German 'Gorilla' Andre Greipel will look to continue narrowing his significant stage victory deficit to Tour de France sprint rival Mark Cavendish on the race Monday.

As the yellow jersey contenders prepare to take their battle for overall victory up to the high altitude of the Pyrenees, stage 15 gives the non-climbing fast men of the peloton a rare chance to shine this week.

Greipel, who claimed his third win of this year's race on Sunday to match Slovakian Peter Sagan's three-stage haul from this edition, is hoping to make it four on what will be his 24th birthday.

"It's my birthday on Monday, so obviously I'd like to win again," said Greipel, nicknamed the Gorilla for his imposing physique.

But two days after successfully negotiating the Mont Saint Clair -- a climb which snagged many of his rivals, including 21-times stage winner Cavendish -- Greipel's Lotto team could have a load of work on their hands.

The 15th stage begins in Samatan at the foot of the Pyrenees, ending in Pau 158.5 km later at the end of a 600-metre long home straight that is bunch sprint-friendly.

Although relatively short, the undulating terrain through the Gers department will lead the peloton towards some hillier terrain as the Pyrenees approach.

And that is where the sprinters' teams could face their biggest test.

None of the three small climbs that feature in the final 50 km are difficult -- at only 2.1, 1.9 and 1.5 kilometres long, most of the sprinters should sail over them.

But they come in quick succession, providing a platform for late attacks that could go all the way.

On the other hand, the summit of the final climb, the Monassut-Audiracq is 29.5 km from the finish, giving the chasing teams a chance to reform and launch a pursuit.

One rider who could be looking to get in the breakaway is Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez.

The Rabobank rider launched a late attack in Saturday's stage won by Greipel, only to be caught when yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins came flying round a final bend in a bid to lead out Norwegian teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The Spaniard later griped that Wiggins' Sky team, who have ben racing hard to defend the yellow jersey, had been greedy.

But Wiggins has not ruled out a similar manoeuvre.

"I love him, he's a fantastic guy," Wiggins said of Sanchez, a former Paris-Nice winner who has won three stages on the Tour.

"It's unfortunate, but I can't look after everyone in the peloton. Edvald has done a lot of work for me throughout the race, and this season, and it was time to pay him back."


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine, Vietnam troops play sports on disputed island
    Philippine, Vietnam troops play sports on disputed island

    Filipino and Vietnamese troops played football and tug-of-war on a disputed South China Sea island on Wednesday, officials said, closing ranks as their rival China ramps up construction of artificial islands. The games took place on Philippine-held Northeast Cay, just 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles) from Southwest Cay which is controlled by Vietnam, where a similar contest was held last year. "It was a navy-to-navy confidence-building engagement," Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, the Philippine …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

  • Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute
    Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute

    The Philippines should consider backchannel diplomacy to prevent its territorial dispute with China from deteriorating further, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said yesterday. There are a lot of Filipino businessmen with businesses in China and they have friends and connections there. Let’s utilize that, ask them to talk to their friends on how we can resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said. …

  • Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims
    Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims

    Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions. The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and …

  • Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle
    Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle

    Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island yesterday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region will allow it to project power deep into …

  • Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers
    Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers

    President Aquino administered yesterday the oath taking of 50 newly appointed generals and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a simple ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace. …

  • Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed
    Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed

    The US on Tuesday welcomed Taiwan’s call on all claimants to disputed shoals, reefs, rocks and islets in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea to exercise restraint, refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions, as well as to respect international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “With regard to the maritime claims and the claims to sovereignty over land features in the South China Sea, our position is that maritime claims must …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options