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Greipel makes show of force in Tour Down Under prologue

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Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) celebrates as he crosses the line the clear winner of the Down Under Classic in Adelaide.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) celebrates as he crosses the line the clear winner of the Down Under Classic in Adelaide.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter/Cyclingnews)
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Down Under Classic champion André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)

Down Under Classic champion André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Eddy Merckx in Australia at the Down Under Classic

Eddy Merckx in Australia at the Down Under Classic
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton races under brilliant blue skies in Adelaide, Australia.

The peloton races under brilliant blue skies in Adelaide, Australia.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton in action during the Down Under Classic.

The peloton in action during the Down Under Classic.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Race winner André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) makes his way to the podium.

Race winner André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) makes his way to the podium.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Matt Goss (GreenEdge) and team director Neil Stephens await the start.

Matt Goss (GreenEdge) and team director Neil Stephens await the start.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Adelaide, Australia hosted the Down Under Classic.

Adelaide, Australia hosted the Down Under Classic.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) at his usual place in the peloton...on the front.

Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) at his usual place in the peloton...on the front.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Lotto-Belisol squad kicks its lead-out train into high gear for Greipel.

The Lotto-Belisol squad kicks its lead-out train into high gear for Greipel.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) celebrates his victory in the Down Under Classic.

André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) celebrates his victory in the Down Under Classic.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Eddy Merckx and race winner André Greipel on the podium.

Eddy Merckx and race winner André Greipel on the podium.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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GreenEdge make their appearance at the Tour Down Under

GreenEdge make their appearance at the Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Race Director Mike Turtor calling the shots

Race Director Mike Turtor calling the shots
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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The racing was fast from the get go

The racing was fast from the get go
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Robbie Hunter

Robbie Hunter
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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RaboBank came to the front in the closing stages

RaboBank came to the front in the closing stages
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Nathan Haas won most of the sprint points for the Down Under Classic.

Nathan Haas won most of the sprint points for the Down Under Classic.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Andre Greipel takes the win

Andre Greipel takes the win
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Nathan Haas has a great start to the season

Nathan Haas has a great start to the season
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Oscar Freire on the stage

Oscar Freire on the stage
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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GreenEdge

GreenEdge
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Liquigas catch up on all the latest TDU news

Liquigas catch up on all the latest TDU news
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Paul Serwin and Phil Liggett were on hand to host the teams presentation

Paul Serwin and Phil Liggett were on hand to host the teams presentation
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Martin Elmiger makes his way to the teams presentation

Martin Elmiger makes his way to the teams presentation
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Liquigas were not th eonly team in green

Liquigas were not th eonly team in green
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Rabobank at the TDU

Rabobank at the TDU
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Alejandro Valverde is back on the race scene

Alejandro Valverde is back on the race scene
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Mark Renshaw was a crowd favourite

Mark Renshaw was a crowd favourite
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Eddy Merckx presented the jersey to Greipel

Eddy Merckx presented the jersey to Greipel
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)

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.

Results

#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

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