Greipel opens season with victory in People's Choice Classic

Lotto Belisol too good once again in Adelaide

André Greipel has won the prelude to the Santos Tour Down Under by winning the People's Choice Classic. The Lotto Belisol team took control early in the 30-lap race as Zak Dempster (UniSA) and Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) took off in an attempt to foil the sprinters. Dempster and Voigt made a valiant effort and stretched their lead out to nearly one minute before the bunch reacted.

"It's always nice to start with a win. We tried it (the sprint train) in training the last few days and we stick to our plan," said Greipel at the finish.

"Everybody saw what [Marcel] Sieberg and [Greg] Henderson and [Adam] Hansen can do," he added.

While Dempster and Voigt worked well together at the front, it was Greipel's team, along with Argos-Shimano who went about ensuring the leading duo remained in reach. The speed remained fairly comfortable throughout the opening stages as Dempster and Voigt's lead slowly began to dwindle.

Dempster was keen to pick up the intermediate sprint bonuses – held at the end of every 5th lap and the veteran German was happy to allow the UniSA collect the maximum prize. Voigt was clearly thinking about keeping his energy for the finish but with so many sprinters keen on starting the year with a bang, they were always certain to be caught.

Dempster took four intermediate sprints before the two were finally caught with a little under 10 laps remaining. It was at this point a number of other teams including Saxo-Tinkoff, Garmin Sharp, FDJ and Sky Procycling came towards the front.

Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff), Steel Von Hoff and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Chris Sutton (Sky) were all looking like potential winners but the Lotto Belisol train remained firm on the front.

The pace was winding up with each lap and while a number of teams were interested in setting up their sprinter, none seemed capable of staying on the front for long. One team had the fire-power: Lotto Belisol.

Coming into the final lap it was the powerful and well-drilled Lotto Belisol train that proved dominant. With five riders at the front of the bunch it seemed destined that Greipel would take his third criterium victory. Sprinting for the line it was only Orica GreenEdge's Matt Goss who could hold the wheel of the Gorilla. Goss made a final attempt at the line but would have to settle for second-place.

"I feel good. It was not a matter of not having the powers it’s just that sprint – you’ve got to have a really good run at it," said Goss after coming close to taking his first win of the year.

"Again, lotto did it perfectly. Hendy didn’t hit the front until 250m to go or less. Greipel had a perfect sit. I tried to lay off so I could come with a bit of speed but all I could do was just run up onto the back wheel and I barely even came past. It’s 75km/h down there which is pretty quick," he added.

In a repeat of last year's win it was the team of Greipel who delivered their leader to the line. Greipel put in a powerful display but it was the closing lap that meant nearly all the remaining sprinters were left to try and follow. Adam Hansen put a huge turn in at the front having never moved away from the pointy end all race.

The key to Lotto Belisol's first win of the year is quite simple according to the Australian.

"We have a set plan, it never happens, some guys go a bit too early, some guys can go a bit longer. Communication brings it all together," he said.


# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 1:04:01  
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
3 Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol    
4 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM    
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:00:02  
6 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
7 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin Sharp    
8 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar    
9 Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
10 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale    
11 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
12 Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM    
13 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
14 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ    
15 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
16 Adam Phelan (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
17 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp    
18 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
19 Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling    
20 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco    
21 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
22 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano    
23 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
24 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ    
25 Jordan Kerby (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
26 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM    
27 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff    
28 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano    
29 Stefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:08  
30 Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
31 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC    
32 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Cannondale    
33 Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
34 Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Argos-Shimano    
35 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM    
36 Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale    
37 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale    
38 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana    
39 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana    
40 Robert Hunter (Rsa) Garmin Sharp    
41 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana    
42 David Tanner (Aus) Blanco    
43 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM    
44 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard    
45 Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Movistar    
46 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC    
47 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
48 Damien Howson (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
49 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
50 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
51 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
52 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp    
53 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Fra) Euskaltel Euskadi    
54 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ    
55 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar    
56 Jussi Veikkanen (Fra) FDJ    
57 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM    
58 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
59 Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
60 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff    
61 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 0:00:21  
62 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
63 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
64 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
65 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
66 Matthew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:24  
67 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ 0:00:25  
68 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard    
69 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC    
70 Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack Leopard    
71 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana    
72 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar    
73 Calvin Watson (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
74 Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar    
75 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
76 Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
77 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC    
78 Gédiminas Bagdonas (Lit) AG2R La Mondiale    
79 Jesse Sergent (NZl) Radioshack Leopard    
80 Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC    
81 George Bennett (NZl) Radioshack Leopard    
82 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack Leopard    
83 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
84 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
85 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
86 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC    
87 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana    
88 Willem Wauters (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM    
89 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
90 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC    
91 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff    
92 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Blanco    
93 Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJ    
94 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana    
95 Timothy Duggan (USA) Saxo-Tinkoff    
96 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol    
97 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
98 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco    
99 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco    
100 Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale    
101 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco    
102 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale    
103 Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale    
104 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step    
105 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff    
106 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp    
107 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar    
108 Jose Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar    
109 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff    
110 Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale    
111 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo-Tinkoff    
112 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana    
113 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
114 Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge    
115 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol 0:01:05  
116 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
117 Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
118 Zakkary Dempster (Aus) UNI SA - Australia    
119 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre-Merida 0:01:08  
120 Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ    
121 Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano    
122 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-Shimano    
123 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
124 Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi    
125 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:01:13  
126 Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos-Shimano 0:01:21  
127 Jens Voigt (Ger) Radioshack Leopard 0:01:32  
128 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge    
129 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:38  
130 Graeme Brown (Aus) Blanco 0:01:56  
131 William Clarke (Aus) Argos-Shimano 0:01:59  

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