Andre Greipel refused to get carried away with extending his green jersey lead at the Tour de France, while Alexander Kristoff gave up.
Andre Greipel refused to get carried away with extending his green jersey lead at the Tour de France, while Alexander Kristoff gave up winning the points classification after a chaotic day.
Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won Wednesday's stage five from Arras to Amiens, sprinting clear of his green-jersey rivals after no team managed to dominate the finale with a strong lead-out train.
The win took the 32-year-old German to 151 points in the points classification standings, 32 clear of three-time reigning champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), with John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) in third with 89, but Greipel was keen to play down his chances of retaining the green jersey for the rest of the Tour.
Greipel, who also took line honours in stage two, has never won the Tour's points classification before.
"[This] second [stage] victory was a real nice one and to have the green jersey for another day is quite nice for us," he told SBS afterwards.
Greipel was boxed in for the majority of the final 1,000 metres of the 189.5km stage but as the field fanned across the road, he surged, winning from Sagan and pre-Tour favourite Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step).
With Kristoff (Team Katusha), Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka), Degenkolb, Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar) all finishing in the top eight, Wednesday's conclusion included the majority of Le Tour's main sprinters of 2015.
"It was an interesting sprint because none of the top sprinters had any of their lead-out men to lead the sprint for them in the final 300 metres," Greipel said.
"You had to improvise a little bit. I looked for an opening and saw there was one on the left. I was a bit far off at the 300 metres but I was lucky to still have the strength to pull it off."
Having led in the final 300 metres only to finish fourth, Kristoff was clearly disappointed in Amiens.
"Not anymore, no," the Norwegian said, when asked if he was still in green-jersey contention.
Meanwhile, Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Steven de Jongh insisted Sagan remains a contender for the Tour's sprinters' crown after finishing just behind Greipel for the second stage this year.
"We are not here with a lead-out train, and Peter also plays an important role during the stage," De Jongh said.
"However, in the sprints he can do his own thing, and today he came really close."