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Greipel opens season with victory in People's Choice Classic

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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) takes out the People's Choice Classic after a powerful display by his team

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) takes out the People's Choice Classic after a powerful display by his team
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) wins the People's Choice Classic ahead of Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) and Lotto teammate Greg Henderson

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) wins the People's Choice Classic ahead of Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) and Lotto teammate Greg Henderson
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Phiippe Gilbert (BMC) was taking it easy in the 51km warm-up criterium ahead of Tour Down Under

Phiippe Gilbert (BMC) was taking it easy in the 51km warm-up criterium ahead of Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Team Sky rode at the rear of the peloton during the People's Choice Classic before moving to the front toward the final laps

Team Sky rode at the rear of the peloton during the People's Choice Classic before moving to the front toward the final laps
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Norwegian champion Edvald Boasson Hagen and British champion Ian Stannard (Sky) in Adelaide

Norwegian champion Edvald Boasson Hagen and British champion Ian Stannard (Sky) in Adelaide
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) was happy to be back in the mix for the People's Choice Classic

Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) was happy to be back in the mix for the People's Choice Classic
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Greipel packed his skinsuit and helmet cover for the opening race around Rymill Park

Greipel packed his skinsuit and helmet cover for the opening race around Rymill Park
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The bunch round the top corner in the evening criterium

The bunch round the top corner in the evening criterium
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has signalled his intentions for overall honours for Tour Down Under

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has signalled his intentions for overall honours for Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) and Zak Dempster (UniSA) were the animators of the race

Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) and Zak Dempster (UniSA) were the animators of the race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) was looking to entertain the crowd in his first race of the year

Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) was looking to entertain the crowd in his first race of the year
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The bunch were cruising in the early part of the People's Choice Classic criterium

The bunch were cruising in the early part of the People's Choice Classic criterium
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gilbert looking calm ahead of the official start in a couple of days

Gilbert looking calm ahead of the official start in a couple of days
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The bunch were treated to a perfect warm evening for their first race of the year in Adelaide

The bunch were treated to a perfect warm evening for their first race of the year in Adelaide
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Greipel pulled on the People's Choice Classic winner's jersey for the second consecutive year

Greipel pulled on the People's Choice Classic winner's jersey for the second consecutive year
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) has won the warm-up criterium for the third time

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) has won the warm-up criterium for the third time
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Andre Greipel and Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) celebrate winning the warm-up criterium ahead of Tour Down Under

Andre Greipel and Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) celebrate winning the warm-up criterium ahead of Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) gets back into the swing of racing at the People's Choice Classic

Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) gets back into the swing of racing at the People's Choice Classic
(Image credit: Sirotti)

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.

Results

#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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