Team Sky miss out on podium position
The opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under featured an arm-wrestle between Team Sky and HTC-Highroad over the final three laps around the Barossa Valley region of Adelaide.
As Michael Rogers pushed the pace, expectations were that either Chris Sutton or Greg Henderson would play a significant role at the finish, but it wasn't to be, with Sutton fourth and Henderson 10th.
"I wasn't feeling 100% today," Henderson told Cyclingnews after the stage. "I think all the bruising from my crash on Sunday night is starting to come out. I was so sore today and it was uncomfortable all day."
The New Zealander crashed heading into the final bend of the Tour Down Under lead-up race, the Cancer Council Classic. While his injuries weren't serious, Henderson did lose a lot of skin off his left leg.
"That crash the other night really took the edge off me today but as the week progresses I think I will get better and better - once all this bruising comes out. Hopefully."
The hectic nature of today's final sprint over the 138km course resulted in a long burn over the final few hundred metres which did not favour a Team Sky lead-out which Henderson said was "de-railed."
"We lost each other at one kilometre to go," he said. "When ‘G' [Gerrans] went, it was at the right time for him but there was only me left for CJ [Sutton]. I had to try and fight my way into the line somewhere, it left me out in the wind.
"When the sprint starts you are already full of lactic acid and I couldn't even go. It wasn't ideal but it's what happens."