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Greipel edges Cavendish to take Tour's Stage 10

Carmaux, France (Sports Network) - Andre Greipel edged former teammate Mark Cavendish in a drag race to the finish Tuesday in Stage 10 of the Tour de France.

Greipel won by nearly a wheel length to record his first Tour stage victory. The German, now riding for Omega Pharma-Lotto, was previously on the HTC- Highroad team where Cavendish has reigned as the world's top sprinter.

Only Tuesday, Cavendish was out of teammates heading into the finishing stretch and appeared to jump earlier than he might have preferred. Greipel was on his wheel, came around the outside and out-paced Cavendish for the win. Spain's Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) was third.

Greipel won the 158-kilometer stage in 3 hours, 31 minutes and 21 seconds. Race leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) of France was safely in the lead bunch and retained the yellow jersey.

The day was fairly standard for a transition stage, which went from Aurillac to Carmaux and brought the race toward the Pyrenees. It had four climbs, none greater than third category, and featured a primary breakaway that was caught about 20 kilometers from the finish.

The race got more interesting when green jersey holder Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) subsequently got a gap on the field with Voeckler and HTC rising star Tony Martin, among others. But the group was unorganized and fell apart.

Gilbert tried again and gained a small advantage, but Cavendish was in the main bunch and his HTC team kept the pace high to prevent attacks from sticking.

But the Manxman's leadout train was gone entering the final kilometer, and he was sitting in second place turning into the finishing straight.

The short stage from Aurillac to Carmaux came after Monday's rest day and was a welcome change from the chaos of the Tour's first week, when there were numerous crashes, injuries and withdrawals.

Some hail fell prior to the start, but Tuesday's stage didn't have a serious incident.

Two riders did not start: Katusha's Alexandr Kolobnev and RadioShack's Yaroslav Popovych.

The Russian Kolobnev failed an in-competition drug test at the Tour, testing positive for a diuretic in his A sample. While the International Cycling Union did not provisionally suspend him, it said it was "confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity," and Kolobnev subsequently withdrew.

Popovych, meanwhile, was suffering from a fever that did not improve during the rest day. The Ukrainian's withdrawal is the third for RadioShack, leaving the team with six riders, some of whom -- including leaders Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden -- are still recovering from crashes of their own.

Stage 11 is a 167.5-kilometer route from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur, a relatively flat stage with two categorized climbs -- the third-category Cote de Tonnac and the fourth-category Cote de Puylaurens.

It is also the final stage before the Tour hits the high mountains. Thursday's Stage 12 has three big climbs, including the Col du Tourmalet and a summit finish atop Luz-Ardiden.

07/12 12:39:07 ET