Greipel opens season with victory in People's Choice Classic

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

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol1:04:01
2Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto BelisolRow 2 - Cell 2
4Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 3 - Cell 2
5Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:02
6Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin SharpRow 6 - Cell 2
8Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) MovistarRow 7 - Cell 2
9Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La MondialeRow 9 - Cell 2
11Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 10 - Cell 2
12Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 11 - Cell 2
13Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 12 - Cell 2
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJRow 13 - Cell 2
15Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Adam Phelan (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin SharpRow 16 - Cell 2
18Jerome Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 17 - Cell 2
19Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 18 - Cell 2
20Mark Renshaw (Aus) BlancoRow 19 - Cell 2
21Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 20 - Cell 2
22Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-ShimanoRow 21 - Cell 2
23Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 22 - Cell 2
24William Bonnet (Fra) FDJRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jordan Kerby (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-TinkoffRow 26 - Cell 2
28Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-ShimanoRow 27 - Cell 2
29Stefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale0:00:08
30Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 29 - Cell 2
31Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMCRow 30 - Cell 2
32Juraj Sagan (Svk) CannondaleRow 31 - Cell 2
33Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 32 - Cell 2
34Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Argos-ShimanoRow 33 - Cell 2
35Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 34 - Cell 2
36Cameron Wurf (Aus) CannondaleRow 35 - Cell 2
37Cristiano Salerno (Ita) CannondaleRow 36 - Cell 2
38Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) AstanaRow 37 - Cell 2
39Andrea Guardini (Ita) AstanaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Robert Hunter (Rsa) Garmin SharpRow 39 - Cell 2
41Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) AstanaRow 40 - Cell 2
42David Tanner (Aus) BlancoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 42 - Cell 2
44Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack LeopardRow 43 - Cell 2
45Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) MovistarRow 44 - Cell 2
46Martin Kohler (Swi) BMCRow 45 - Cell 2
47Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 46 - Cell 2
48Damien Howson (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 48 - Cell 2
50Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 50 - Cell 2
52Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin SharpRow 51 - Cell 2
53Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Fra) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 52 - Cell 2
54Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJRow 53 - Cell 2
55Giovanni Visconti (Ita) MovistarRow 54 - Cell 2
56Jussi Veikkanen (Fra) FDJRow 55 - Cell 2
57Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 56 - Cell 2
58Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 58 - Cell 2
60Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo-TinkoffRow 59 - Cell 2
61Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:00:21
62Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 63 - Cell 2
65Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 64 - Cell 2
66Matthew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling0:00:24
67Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ0:00:25
68Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack LeopardRow 67 - Cell 2
69Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMCRow 68 - Cell 2
70Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack LeopardRow 69 - Cell 2
71Valerio Agnoli (Ita) AstanaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Eros Capecchi (Ita) MovistarRow 71 - Cell 2
73Calvin Watson (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Andrey Amador (Crc) MovistarRow 73 - Cell 2
75Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
76Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMCRow 76 - Cell 2
78Gédiminas Bagdonas (Lit) AG2R La MondialeRow 77 - Cell 2
79Jesse Sergent (NZl) Radioshack LeopardRow 78 - Cell 2
80Amael Moinard (Fra) BMCRow 79 - Cell 2
81George Bennett (NZl) Radioshack LeopardRow 80 - Cell 2
82Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack LeopardRow 81 - Cell 2
83Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 83 - Cell 2
85Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 84 - Cell 2
86Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMCRow 85 - Cell 2
87Simone Ponzi (Ita) AstanaRow 86 - Cell 2
88Willem Wauters (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 87 - Cell 2
89Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 88 - Cell 2
90Steve Morabito (Swi) BMCRow 89 - Cell 2
91Jay McCarthy (Aus) Saxo-TinkoffRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jack Bobridge (Aus) BlancoRow 91 - Cell 2
93Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) AstanaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Timothy Duggan (USA) Saxo-TinkoffRow 94 - Cell 2
96Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto BelisolRow 95 - Cell 2
97Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) BlancoRow 97 - Cell 2
99Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BlancoRow 98 - Cell 2
100Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 99 - Cell 2
101Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) BlancoRow 100 - Cell 2
102Alan Marangoni (Ita) CannondaleRow 101 - Cell 2
103Brian Vandborg (Den) CannondaleRow 102 - Cell 2
104Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-StepRow 103 - Cell 2
105Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo-TinkoffRow 104 - Cell 2
106Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin SharpRow 105 - Cell 2
107Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) MovistarRow 106 - Cell 2
108Jose Herrada Lopez (Spa) MovistarRow 107 - Cell 2
109Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Saxo-TinkoffRow 108 - Cell 2
110Federico Canuti (Ita) CannondaleRow 109 - Cell 2
111Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo-TinkoffRow 110 - Cell 2
112Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) AstanaRow 111 - Cell 2
113Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 112 - Cell 2
114Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdgeRow 113 - Cell 2
115Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol0:01:05
116Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 115 - Cell 2
117Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 116 - Cell 2
118Zakkary Dempster (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 117 - Cell 2
119Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre-Merida0:01:08
120Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 119 - Cell 2
121Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-ShimanoRow 120 - Cell 2
122Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-ShimanoRow 121 - Cell 2
123Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 122 - Cell 2
124Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Euskaltel EuskadiRow 123 - Cell 2
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 GreenEdgeRow 127 - Cell 2
129Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:38
130Graeme Brown (Aus) Blanco0:01:56
131William Clarke (Aus) Argos-Shimano0:01:59

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