Greipel takes full advantage after sprint rival Cavendish caught in Tour crash
updated 2:06 PM EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
Andre Greipels shows his delight after winning the fourth stage of the 2012 Tour de France in Rouen.
- Andre Greipel wins fourth stage of the Tour de France
- German Greipel sprints clear of a reduced peloton in Rouen
- Britain's Mark Cavendish brought down in crash near the finish
- Fabian Cancellara holds on to yellow jersey of race leader
(CNN) -- Germany's Andre Greipel powered to his first stage victory of this year's Tour de France Wednesday after his arch-rival Mark Cavendish was caught up in a crash near the finish in Rouen.
Greipel took full advantage after being given a perfect lead out by his Lotto teammate Greg Henderson.
The imposing Greipel came off the New Zealander's wheel to easily hold off Italian sprinter Alessandro Pettachi (Lampre) and Dutchman Tom Veelers of the Argos Shimano team.
RadioShack's Fabian Cancellera kept the race leader's yellow jersey at the end of the 214 km stage from Abbeville.
A mass pile-up less than three kilometers left Team Sky's Cavendish with cuts and bruises and ended the hopes of a number of other sprint contenders.
Bradley Wiggins, left, celebrates on the finish line with teammate Michael Rogers of Australia after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France on Sunday, July 22, in Paris.
Tour de France 2012: The best photos
Cavendish, who edged out Greipel to win the second stage Monday, rode slowly to the finish after the crash, having earlier beaten all his rivals for the green points jersey at an intermediate sprint at 140km.
The globalization of the Tour de France
Greipel was delighted by his second career win on the Tour de France.
"It's a really emotional victory for me, we worked hard for this and I think we deserved this," he told Eurosport.
It was a really emotional victory for me, we worked hard for this and I think we deserved this
"I didn't see the crash... it's not nice to see those pictures, but it's a part of racing and there was still a lot of quality guys there, so it's no problem for me.
"I've just won a stage in the Tour de France, so it couldn't be better."
Slovakia's Peter Sagan, winner of two stages on this year's Tour, finished fourth to keep the green jersey heading into the fifth stage over 196.5km from Rouen to Saint Quentin.
Cancellara, who has maintained a seven second lead over race favorite, Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, since the opening prologue stage Saturday, was relieved to have avoided the pile-up.
"I'm lucky and happy that I could get through it all safely. It's never nice when people crash," he told the official Tour de France website.
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