Greipel claims stage as chaotic Tour forces more withdrawals

 
Frank Dalleres
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TEAM Sky saw another rider follow Chris Froome in quitting the Tour de France on a chaotic sixth stage yesterday, though Richie Porte stayed in yellow jersey contention for the British outfit.

German Andre Greipel of Lotto darted for the line 200km from the finish in Reims to win the stage from Norwegian Alexander Kristoff of Katyusha and Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin of AG2R.

Rain-slicked surfaces and blustery conditions contributed to three more crashes in what has been an incident-filled first week. Team Sky’s Spanish rider Xabier Zandio was among those to fall and, after consulting with doctors, abandoned the race, just as defending champion Froome had to on Wednesday.

Australian Porte, who was promoted to lead rider following Froome’s withdrawal, finished in the first group to remain eighth overall, one minute and 54 seconds behind the leader, Italian Vincenzo Nibali of Astana. Welshman Geraint Thomas, also of Team Sky, and one of only two Britons left in the race, lies 14th in the general classification, two minutes and 16 seconds adrift of Nibali.