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Santos Tour Down Under 2010: Stage 2


Welcome back to Cyclingnews for our coverage of stage two of this year's Santos Tour Down Under from Gawler, approximately 60km from Adelaide, to the German-settled town of Hahndorf.

Congratulations to André Greipel, Allan Peiper and the HTC-Columbia team for their performance in yesterday's stage from Clare to Tanunda and the boys in yellow will be aiming to repeat that performance in today's 133.5km that includes two intermediate sprints - at Lyndoch and Mount Torrens - plus a KOM on Old Checker Hill that comes 89.3km into the parcours.

Well, our man on the ground today, Greg Johnson, says that the weather is virtually the same as yesterday's conditions - sunny adn warm, a slight north-easterly breeze which could gather speed to a moderate wind on some parts of the parcours and a clear blue sky... for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, I can only say sorry you're missing out...

The race is underway, with neutral ending at 11:05am and immediately there is an attack. Mickael Delage and Olivier Kaisen (both Omega Pharma -Lotto) and David Kemp (UniSA) quickly gain an advantage of 500m.

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The peloton makes its way through Lyndoch and the time gap has increased to 2:10 seconds - these three are really consolidating their lead in good time.

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More alpacas, folks! Apparently the Katusha car stopped for a nature break outside a field of these long-necked guys and the animals didn't appreciate that kind of attention too much... Neither would I, to be honest!

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Today's stage started in Gawler, home town to Garmin-Transitions' Jack Bobridge, the current U23 time trial world champion. During stage one of last year's Tour Down Under, the young firebrand rider attacked hard on the run to Mawson Lakes, impressing Lance Armstrong and obviously the management at Garmin...

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Belgian rider Olivier Kaisen also tried his luck in a break on these roads during last year's Tour Down Under, attacking during the first stage from Norwood to Mawson Lakes, which was won by - you guessed it - André Greipel.

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Having gone through Williamstown, riders are now making their way over to Springton before heading to Mount Pleasant, where during last year's race your intrepid Cyclingnews reporter enjoyed a homestyle wurst in a masive bread roll, complete with sauerkraut. There's a German theme throughout the Adelaide Hills, and it shows - Hahndorf, here we come!

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French rider Mickael Delage won a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir in 2006, the prestigious French race now contested by national teams. The 24-year-old from Libourne rode his first grand tour for Française des Jeux at the age of 20 when he finished the 2006 Giro d'Italia.

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One rider who took his first ever Tour Down Under win in Hahndorf is Allan Davis. The Astana rider told Cyclingnews this morning that, "There are still plenty of stages to be won. I am sprinting really well and the week's not over yet." Is this the war cry of the Bundaberg lad? We'll see in about 80 kilometres' time...

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The road back to Williamstown on this part of the course passes Mt Crawford forest, which has been home to rounds of the Australian Rally Championship in the past. The riders are travelling a little slower than a rally car, although they'll still be hooting along on the wide road next to the forest.

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There's a fantastic downhill run into Williamstown before veering left to head to Kersbrook - the peloton will surely make up plenty of time on that section as riders tuck into an aero ball and reach speeds touching 85km/h

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Forget about pheasants, the breakaway stands as much chance as a fly against a can of flyspray - in two kilometres the gap has decreased by 33 seconds to 7:13! Greipel and co are intent on stopping that buzzing, although Delage, Kemp and Kaisen are 15km from the KOM and will pass it off the front

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Could today's stage be won by one of Sky's sprinters? Well, I'm no Nostradamus but I can tell you where to have a look at the bike ridden by Team Sky's Ben Swift, who will be helping his teammates to a possible victory in Hahndorf. It's an impressive machine...

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Speaking of the KOM on Checker Hill Rd, Team Milram's Luke Roberts told Cyclingnews about the climb in our stage description:

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WIth the break seemingly doomed to fail today, the stage is set for another André Greipel victory. Teammate Matt Goss told Cyclingnews that, "The team has a lot of faith in André so we're going to try and get him in for another stage win." Judging by the way Greipel sprinted yesterday, his teammates need only take him to the final 500m before he blasts around his fellow sprinters...

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There's less than 30km to go in the stage and with the gap to the break below two minutes, the catch will most likely be made in the next 10km for a long drag to the finish in Hahndorf

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The time gap appears to be around the one minute mark...

Kaisen has been dropped by Delage and Kemp, the latter two pressing on with the peloton breathing down their necks. As the bunch makes its way from Woodside to Oakbank, the time gap is just 30 seconds...

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Details are sketchy, but there's a visual on the leading two riders who will shortly be caught by a hard-charging peloton that is intent on making the most of a favourable finish in Hahndorf - a slightly uphill drag

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Greipel has won it!

André Greipel has won another stage for HTC-Columbia, making it two straight for Allan Peiper's men. Kiwi sprinter Greg Henderson took second to move up to second overall while Robbie McEwen showed grit in securing third.

Brief results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Andre Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia
2Gregory Henderson (NZl) Team Sky
3Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha
4Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions
5Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

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