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Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) was over the moon with his stage win
Hansen, Henderson to support two-time winner
Two-time winner of the Tour Down Under, Andre Greipel will return to the Australian WorldTour race in January in a bid for his third victory which would surpass the record he currently shares with Stuart O'Grady.
Greipel previously won the event in 2008 and 2010.
It will be Greipel's first outing in Lotto Belisol colours, the team having been largely formed out of the Omega Pharma-Lotto squad. The German sprint powerhouse will be joined by trusted leadout man, Australian Adam Hansen.
Greipel said he was excited to be returning to what has been a happy hunting ground, with eight stage wins to his name.
"Racing in Australia has a special meaning for me, since it is here that I first knocked on the door as a world class sprinter. I am looking forward to the stages where we will be able to test our new sprint train with solid riders in who I believe a lot. Winning a stage in the Santos Tour Down Under is my first objective for the 2012 season," he admitted.
Sky-recruit Greg Henderson will be making his debut for the Belgian-based outfit, with Directeur Sportif suggesting that the Kiwi will play a key role in delivering Greipel to the line.
"The Santos Tour Down Under has gained its position as opening stage race for the new season. We have selected a team that will be ready to compete for victory in each of the stages. A good start of the season is very important to us and how could we better start the season than with a stage win in the Santos Tour Down Under?" Sergeant said.
"The Lotto Belisol squad will be built around our top sprinter André Greipel. Also André has a very warm relationship with the Australians and their Santos Tour Down Under. With Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson in the lineup, we have a local Australian and New Zealand rider, each with a specific role to support the team."
The Lotto Belisol team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under: André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Olivier Kaisen, Vicente Reynes, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.