Greipel makes show of force in Tour Down Under prologue

German sprints home in bunch kick over Boasson Hagen and Haussler

German Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has given his Tour Down Under rivals an early warning sign that he means business in 2012, looking almost untouchable in the final sprint to take out the Down Under Classic in Adelaide.

Sky rider Edvald Boasson Hagen opened the sprint after Lotto-Belisol's last lead-out man Greg Henderson swung off but when Greipel put the foot down he seemed to effortlessly sail past the Norwegian - harking back to the way he dominated the 2008, and 2010 tours. Heinrich Haussler completed the top three.

Asked what today’s result was an indication of heading into the first WordTour event of the year, Greipel was frank.

"That we didn’t sleep in the winter," he grinned. "I tried to get a lead out train for this season and we got Greg Henderson in the team.

"I worked with him pretty good in previous seasons so he is a main part in the success of the team for me. But I can't forget Jurgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Adam Hansen – they are all really important to keep the train going. I think we’ve shown a pretty good effort today."

"I think the guys were awesome. I just needed to stay on the wheels. I saw Rabobank and Sky - they couldn’t pass so I think that meant we have a lot of horsepower in our team.

"Today takes a bit of pressure off. Especially for the young riders who are in Mallorca at the moment. Hopefully it will give them a bit of extra motivation to train well and to keep the Lotto streak running."

Greg Henderson, who was instrumental in positioning Greipel for the sprint was full of emotion at the stage finish, enraptured by his German team mate's performance.

"You know how much power he’s got. I’m leading out at 70km/h and he just comes past me," said Henderson. "I just don’t understand how anyone can go so fast. You’ve seen it. He’s right up there with the likes of Cavendish. The two are going to have a great rivalry this year."

Boasson Hagen who many have tipped as a pre-race favourite on the hillier parcours of this year's race explained that he isn't quite up to top competition form - yet.

"We lost Chris Sutton in the lead up to the final turn, I'm not sure what happened but that's cycling."

"Everyone in the team did a great job, so at least we can be satisfied with that."

The finale of the race was dominated by three teams, with Lampre-ISD, Rabobank and Lotto-Belisol all taking turns stringing the field out. On the penultimate lap Sky also arrived to make it a crowded run to the line. Renshaw punctured on the final lap and that left Lampre-ISD, Lotto-Belisol and Sky to fight it out.

Lotto-Belisol would not be thrown off and with less than a kilometre to go they had their man firmly placed near the front. In the final duel, two riders; Greipel and Boasson Hagen went head-to-head. Greipel however was clearly a level above and sporting a skin suit, he made the well-credentialled Boasson Hagen look almost amateurish in an ominous sign for the week ahead.

Earlier in the day, neo-pro Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda) showed some class to take three of the four intermediate sprints, with Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) taking out the fourth.

Haas was part of nine-man break that featured throughout the mid-stages of the race. The break never held more than 25 seconds over the chasing bunch, with Lotto-Belisol, Rabobank and GreenEdge keeping a watchful eye at the front of the peloton.

On each and every sprint prime Haas jumped away easily from his fellow breakaway riders. Impressively he made a reasonably renowned fast-man in William Bonnet (FDJ-BigMat) look slow.

When the break was caught with around seven laps to go, the sprint teams began to ramp up for what was a thrilling finale.

An honourable mention goes out to UniSA-Australia rider Steele Von Hoff who finished in front of some big names including Alessandro Petacchi in his first WorldTour outing.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol1:03:17 
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
3Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda  
4Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar  
5Steele Von Hoff (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
6Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
7Chris Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
8José Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Movistar  
9Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Belisol  
10Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD  
11Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-ISD  
12Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  
13Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM  
14Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-BigMat0:00:02 
15Robbie Mcewen (Aus) GreenEDGE  
16Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:00:05 
17Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol0:00:07 
18Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana  
19Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
20Angel Madrazo (Spa) Movistar  
21Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Team Saxo Bank  
22Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling0:00:11 
23Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:13 
24Ricardo Garcia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:17 
25Adrián Saez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
26Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar  
27Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar  
28William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-BigMat  
29Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
30Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha  
31Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-ISD  
32Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha  
33Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM  
34Tom Palmer (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
35Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank  
36Will Clarke (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
37Jay Mccarthy (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
38Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil -DCM  
39Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda  
40Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto-Belisol  
41Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC  
42Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank  
43Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana  
44Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Barracuda  
45Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
46Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
47Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
48Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ-BigMat  
49Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
50Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ-BigMat  
51Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  
52Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
53Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  
54Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling  
55Victor Cabedo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
56Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
57Rohan Dennis (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
58Xavier Florencio Cabrè (Spa) Katusha  
59Matt Goss (Aus) GreenEDGE  
60Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC  
61Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC  
62Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan  
63Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank0:00:27 
64Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:00:33 
65Frédéric BallanAlessandro (Ita) BMC  
66Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Belisol  
67David Lopez (Spa) Movistar0:00:35 
68Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan  
69Vincente Reynes (Spa) Lotto-Belisol  
70Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-ISD  
71Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:00:37 
72Jonas Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
73Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha  
74Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM  
75Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
76Oscar Freire (Spa) Katusha  
77Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda  
78Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
79Sérgio Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank  
80Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEDGE  
81Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
82Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
83Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
84Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM  
85Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana  
86Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana  
87Valentin KaisenOlivier (Bel) Lotto-Belisol  
88Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-BigMat  
89Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM  
90Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan  
91Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-ISD  
92Stefano Agostini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
93Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
94Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan  
95Linus Gerdemann (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan  
96Matthew Brammeier (Irl) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  
97Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda  
98Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC  
99Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan  
100Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Barracuda  
101Andreas ShpilevskyBoris (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale  
102Lachlan Norris (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
103Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar  
104Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha  
105Mattéo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
106Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale  
107Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-ISD  
108Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
109Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) UNI SA-Australia  
110Stuart O'grady (Aus) GreenEDGE  
111Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Astana  
112Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank  
113Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC  
114Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  
115Dmitri Muravyev (Kaz) Astana  
116Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre-ISD  
117Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda  
118Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC  
119Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank  
120Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank  
121Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank0:00:52 
122Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:01:00 
123Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:01:02 
124Leigh Howard (Aus) GreenEDGE0:01:05 
125Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank0:01:29 
126Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling  
127Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:01:34 
128Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan0:03:06 

Related Articles

Back to top