Waiting For Greipel. Not the bleak and hilarious existential play by Samuel Becket. That was Godot, a bum without a bike to his name who never showed up.
When lead-out man Greg Henderson (Columbia-HTC) hit the last 150 meters, he waited he hear from his sprinter Greipel behind him but the call never came. Then Henderson saw a gap, took it and found himself the surprise winner. He owes the Vacansoleil team a debt of thanks for ambushing Quickstep and Garmin in the tight final corner, effecting cutting off the chances of Boonen and Farrar.
Henderson ripped across the line followed by Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank). Greipel? Down in 4th wondering what happened. The win also vaulted him into 2nd place in the overall, 6 seconds behind Fabian Cancellera (Saxo Bank).
The popular Kiwi has had a big August: a birth of his daughter Charlie and now a grand tour stage win in the Vuelta. The Columbia train man shined in the 190k race from Zutphen to Venlo. Although the Netherlands and Germany make for an odd Spanish tour — canal barges instead of raging black bulls and parched Spanish hillside. Hard to order a glass of Rioja when everybody wants a Grolsch beer.
It was a hard-luck day for team Garmin as Tyler Farrar had mechanical problems and so did Julian Dean. They both made it back to the peloton but finished outside the top ten. Tom Boonen, still appears to be carrying the extra baggage of his cocaine busts: he might be wired but he just ain’t fast.
In Waiting for Godot, the two main characters, tramps, wait for a man named Godot who never comes. But tomorrow is stage 4. Perhaps Mr. Greipel will be the first to arrive.