Greipel makes it three
Andre Griepel claimed his third sprint victory at the Tour de France as Bradley Wiggins spent another day in yellow.
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The German (Lotto-Belisol) held off rival Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) at the finish in Cap d'Agde with Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen third after latching on to a special lead-out.
Wiggins had looked to repay his team-mate for all his hard work in the mountains by putting the power down to string out the bunch under the flamme rouge, pulling back a late attack before pulling off ahead of the sprint.
Greipel saw his team control the exposed run for home after a tough ramp at Mont Saint-Clair, the sprinter hauling himself over the top to contest the finish on the coast.
Wiggins stayed safe on the technical run-in and maintained his two minute and five second advantage over team-mate Chris Froome, the pair fending off a late attack from rival Cadel Evans.
Heading into the final 30 kilometres the Australian's BMC Racing outfit hit the front and caused the peloton split in half in the face of cross-winds coming off the coast.
Evans then launched a speculative dig on the steep ramps of Mont Saint-Clair, dragging rival Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) with him in a move which was swiftly shut down by Wiggins.
After the finish a happy Greipel said: "It was a very tough final 25km. I was dropped going over that last climb but Lars Bak brought me back to the bunch and then my team were riding full gas to catch Albasini and Vinokourov.
"I am really happy with the effort they put in. Even Jurgen Van den Broeck was pulling so that was awesome team-work. When Team Sky went on the front I chose to sit on Edvald Boasson Hagen's wheel. He is a really strong guy and I knew when I was there I had a good possibility of winning, and I did that. My target now is looking towards Paris on the final stage."
On Bastille Day it was no surprise to see five French riders present in what eventually amounted to an eight-man break, the move sparked inside the opening kilometre as the race rolled out of Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
All the talk heading into the stage centred on the final 30km on tough exposed roads and the steep ramps of the Mont Saint-Clair, all played out with the potential for cross-winds as the race reached the coast.
Team Sky were afforded a break from pace-setting duties on the front of the bunch as Orica-GreenEDGE took up the chase, still targeting their first stage victory of the race.
Their sprinter Matt Goss was not able to make a dent into the green jersey stranglehold of Sagan at the intermediate sprint in Mas-de-Londres, the Slovakian taking the maximum seven remaining points from the bunch ahead of Greipel and the Australian.
With over 60km to go Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) took off, leaving behind his breakaway counterparts on the fifth anniversary of his father's death, continuing bravely on to the final climb where a surge in the peloton saw him overhauled.
The pace dropped in the bunch following the climb, allowing things to come back together, yet providing a springboard for Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Michael Albasini (RadioShack-Nissan) to attack.
The duo worked together to build up an advantage of around 20 seconds but were caught with 3.5km to go, leaving the way clear for a bunch sprint.
Team Sky's Mark Cavendish saw himself distanced on the climb in a group which crested the third category effort 1:15 off the leaders, before eventually sitting up on the run-in.
Wiggins was happy to do what he could to repay his colleague for the help he had given him in the mountains.
"Most of the time you're doing the same effort whether you're on front or 20th or 30th wheel with a finish like that with the wind doing what it was," said Wiggins, who now has a 2mins 5secs lead over team-mate Chris Froome in the general classification.
"There was no extra exertion doing the lead-out and it was just nice to help Eddie because he's an absolute gentleman and I'd like to be able to pay him back in some way. But obviously Greipel proved once again that he's the fastest man.
"It's always difficult and it's better at times when you've got a climb like that at the finish because you've got less guys.
"And the wind at the end wasn't actually too difficult; the most difficult part of the day was getting to the climb in a good position because obviously a lot of guys were still there. Yeah, so it's another step closer to Paris.
"Sunday, on paper, shouldn't be a day when things get out of hand. But I think it's a day for the breakaway again and we'll just marshal everything on the last climb but it's a long way to the finish after that."
Leading final positions after Stage 13 (Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux - Le Cap d'Agde, 217km): 1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 4hrs 57mins 59secs, 2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale at same time, 3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling at same time, 4 Sebastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale at same time, 5 Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team at same time, 6 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun at same time, 7 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team at same time, 8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team at same time, 9 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep at same time, 10 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD at same time, 11 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at same time, 12 Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) Sky Procycling at same time, 13 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team at same time, 14 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep at same time, 15 Christopher Froome (Gbr) Sky Procycling at same time, 16 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team at same time, 17 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team at same time, 18 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at same time, 19 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at same time, 20 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team at same time
Selected others: 67 Mark Cavendish (Gbr) Sky Procycling at 8mins 36secs, 133 David Millar (Gbr) Garmin - Sharp at 14:04, 141 Stephen Cummings (Gbr) BMC Racing Team at same time
General classification after Stage 13: 1 Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) Sky Procycling 59hrs 32mins 32secs, 2 Christopher Froome (Gbr) Sky Procycling at 2:05, 3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 2:23, 4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team at 3:19, 5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team at 4:48, 6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan at 6:15, 7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team at 6:57, 8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team at 7:30, 9 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar at 8:31, 10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat at 8:51, 11 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 9:29, 12 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 9:45, 13 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 10:49, 14 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun at 11:27, 15 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan at 12:41, 16 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team at 17:21, 17 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan at 17:41, 18 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi at 18:04, 19 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team at 19:02, 20 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 20:12
Selected others: 83 David Millar (Gbr) Garmin - Sharp at 1hr 32mins 36secs, 89 Stephen Cummings (Gbr) BMC Racing Team at 1:39:11, 150 Mark Cavendish (Gbr) Sky Procycling at 2:14:40