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."
As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.
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