5 Jul 2012

Henderson rapt with role in Tour win

11:43 am on 5 July 2012

The Olympics-bound New Zealand rider Greg Henderson says he feels like he won himself, after helping pilot star German Lotto-Belisol team-mate Andre Greipel to a stage four victory in cycling's Tour de France.

Henderson and his team-mates had also set up Greipel perfectly at the end of stage two, but world champion Mark Cavendish brilliantly used their lead-out train and darted past them at the line.

Cavendish was jockeying for position again behind the Lotto-Belisol formation with less than three kilometres left on Thursday when he was caught in a massive crash.

After the crash, there were four Lotto-Belisol riders in the select front group, including Henderson and of course Greipel, and their finish was textbook.

Lotto-Belisol undoubtedly have the best lead-out formation among the sprinters' teams at this Tour.

Henderson says the team has done the train two times perfectly and while it looks easy to get four or five guys in a line, it's not.

At 36, this is Henderson's Tour debut and after waiting for so long in his career, he is relishing the experience.

The husband of retired Australian track cycling star Katie Mactier says whatever Greipel needs in a sprint, he is there to provide, and his job is to finish at 200 metres, then just pull off - but if it feels like you need to go longer, then you go longer.