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) TeamResult
1Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol1:04:01 
2Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
3Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol  
4Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM  
5Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:02 
6Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
7Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin Sharp  
8Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar  
9Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
10Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale  
11Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi  
12Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM  
13Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ  
15Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
16Adam Phelan (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
17Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp  
18Jerome Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
19Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling  
20Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco  
21Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
22Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano  
23Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
24William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
25Jordan Kerby (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
26Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM  
27Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff  
28Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano  
29Stefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale0:00:08 
30Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi  
31Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC  
32Juraj Sagan (Svk) Cannondale  
33Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi  
34Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Argos-Shimano  
35Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM  
36Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale  
37Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale  
38Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana  
39Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana  
40Robert Hunter (Rsa) Garmin Sharp  
41Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana  
42David Tanner (Aus) Blanco  
43Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM  
44Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard  
45Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Movistar  
46Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC  
47Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
48Damien Howson (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
49Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi  
50Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
51Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
52Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp  
53Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Fra) Euskaltel Euskadi  
54Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
55Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar  
56Jussi Veikkanen (Fra) FDJ  
57Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM  
58Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
59Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
60Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff  
61Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:00:21 
62Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
63Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
64Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
65Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
66Matthew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling0:00:24 
67Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ0:00:25 
68Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard  
69Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC  
70Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack Leopard  
71Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana  
72Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar  
73Calvin Watson (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
74Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar  
75Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
76Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
77Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC  
78Gédiminas Bagdonas (Lit) AG2R La Mondiale  
79Jesse Sergent (NZl) Radioshack Leopard  
80Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC  
81George Bennett (NZl) Radioshack Leopard  
82Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack Leopard  
83Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
84Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
85Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
86Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC  
87Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana  
88Willem Wauters (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM  
89Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
90Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC  
91Jay McCarthy (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff  
92Jack Bobridge (Aus) Blanco  
93Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJ  
94Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana  
95Timothy Duggan (USA) Saxo-Tinkoff  
96Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
97Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
98Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco  
99Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco  
100Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
101Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco  
102Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale  
103Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale  
104Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step  
105Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff  
106Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp  
107Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar  
108Jose Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar  
109Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff  
110Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale  
111Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo-Tinkoff  
112Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana  
113Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
114Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge  
115Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol0:01:05 
116Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
117Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
118Zakkary Dempster (Aus) UNI SA - Australia  
119Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre-Merida0:01:08 
120Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ  
121Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano  
122Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-Shimano  
123Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi  
124Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi  
125Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp0:01:13 
126Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos-Shimano0:01:21 
127Jens Voigt (Ger) Radioshack Leopard0:01:32 
128Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge  
129Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:38 
130Graeme Brown (Aus) Blanco0:01:56 
131William Clarke (Aus) Argos-Shimano0:01:59 

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