Greipel makes show of force in Tour Down Under prologue

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.


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

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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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