André Greipel put himself in the heart of the action on stage 12 of the Tour de France as he made the winning breakaway after a hard day in the crosswind.

With an extremely windy weather forecast and lots of open terrain, it was clear that Thursday’s stage would be a nervous one right from the start.

The pace was furious on the opening kilometers until a strong group of riders finally managed to distance the peloton. Greipel was always attentive near the front and he made sure to follow the right moves and make it into the front group.

Not interested in having another leg-breaking day on the bike, the peloton decided to take it relatively easy, letting the break quickly open up a gap of over 10 minutes.

With about 45 km to go, the riders up front started attacking. Greipel was quick to respond several times, but ultimately a group of four riders got away to ride for the victory. Former ISN rider, Nils Politt took the win, while Greipel was sixth after finishing second in the sprint within the group of chasers.

André Greipel: “It was quite nervous with the crosswind at the beginning. We went full over a little climb and after that, the peloton split in the wind. It was a strong group of guys and we worked together really well. I knew that Küng would go early and I could have gone with him [when he went] but I wasn’t sure if this would be the right move. In the end, I’m happy for Nils. I’ve seen him grow up and we train together every day. He’s a really good friend. However, I would have liked to win the sprint in the chase group, but I got boxed in at the end.”