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Greipel wins Tour 15th stage, Froome retains lead

Andre Greipel confirmed he was the sprint king at this year's Tour de France.

FILE: Kids and adults line up to beat the clock and compete in a time trial for fun in France. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

VALENCE - Andre Greipel confirmed he was the sprint king at this year's Tour de France when the German outpowered his rivals to win the 15th stage on Sunday.

The Lotto-Soudal rider clinched his third stage win on the Tour this year ahead of his compatriot John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), with Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) taking third place at the end of a hilly 183km ride from Mende.

Greipel launched his sprint with about 200 metres left and held off Degenkolb to bag his ninth stage win on the Tour.

Briton Chris Froome retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after staying safe in the bunch all day in an unchanged top 10 in the general classification.

The Team Sky rider leads Colombian Nairo Quintana of Movistar by 3:10 with American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) in third place, 3:32 off the pace.

Looking to add to his 26 Tour de France stage wins, Briton Mark Cavendish never contemplated victory, being dropped early on with numerous other riders including last year's runner-up Jean-Christophe Peraud, who crashed heavily on Friday.

The group crossed the line more than 15 minutes behind Greipel.

Slovakian Peter Sagan kept his grip on the green jersey for the points classifications after finishing fourth, having also collected points in the intermediate sprint.

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Sagan, who finished second in four occasions in this Tour, has 360 points to Greipel's 316.

"I think the green jersey is gone, Peter is too strong, he's in the breakaways. He deserves it," said Greipel.

Sagan featured in the day's breakaway that built a three-minute lead over the pack but the sprinters' teams controlled the gap and reined them in, Lotto-Soudal setting him up perfectly for the sprint.

For more coverage on the event visit the Eyewitness News Tour de France 2015 portal.