Santos Tour Down Under – Bicycles Network Australia https://www.bicycles.net.au The Top Australian Cycling Portal Fri, 25 May 2018 06:40:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gerrans seals victory for GreenEDGE at the 2012 Tour Down Under https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/gerrans-seals-fairytale-debut-for-greenedge-at-the-2012-tour-down-under/ Sun, 22 Jan 2012 09:10:19 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3596 Victorian Simon Gerrans has sealed a fairytale debut for the fledgling GreenEDGE Australian professional cycling team by claiming overall victory in the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under. Gerrans joins team mate and local hero Stuart O’Grady and today’s stage winner German Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) as the third rider in the event’s 14 year history to […]]]>

Victorian Simon Gerrans has sealed a fairytale debut for the fledgling GreenEDGE Australian professional cycling team by claiming overall victory in the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under. Gerrans joins team mate and local hero Stuart O’Grady and today’s stage winner German Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) as the third rider in the event’s 14 year history to win the trophy twice.

Sunday’s final stage was raced over 20 laps of a street circuit at Elder Park on the banks of the Torrens River north of the Adelaide CBD. The 90 kilometre finale set off with the air temperature at 37 degrees celsius but the heat from road made racing conditions much hotter.

31 year old Gerrans went into the stage tied on time with Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) but as race leader because of a lower total when the pair’s places on previous stages were tallied. There was also a handful of other riders hoping to improve their positions. But GreenEDGE were up to the challenge and vigilant throughout the stage making sure they covered every move.

“When I was told yesterday that I was getting the leader’s jersey, I didn’t feel any pressure at all, it was just a nice surprise. I knew it would give us a tough job for this last stage, but as it turns out, I can’t be happier,” said Gerran who two weeks ago won the elite men’s road race crown at the nationals. “This is just fantastic. I can’t thank the GreenEdge team enough for this victory.

“We had a tough task today to control Alejandro Valverde who is a classics rider. The last lap was very fast,” said a jubuliant Gerrans whose wife Rahna was in Adelaide to witness his win. “It’s an even sweeter victory than my first one here in 2006. It gives me the opportunity to thank for the first time the Ryan family (GreenEDGE team owners Gerry and Andrew) and (GreenEDGE General Manager) Shayne Bannan for putting this team together. It couldn’t be a better start for us.

“I had Robbie McEwen looking after me (and) that was pretty special since it was his last race in Australia,”said Gerrans of his team mate McEwen who holds the record for the most stage wins in the history of the Santos Tour Down Under, 12. Greipel today notched up his 11th stage win.

“What can I say?” said Greipel after flashing across the line a good bike length clear of Australian Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Italian sprint ace Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre). “The team Lotto-Belisol has just been amazing in leading me out to my third win of the week.

“It looks easy but it’s not,”he said. “I was nowhere in the front on GC (overall) this year but I’m happy with the sprint finishes. I always like to come to South Australia. It’s just nice to start the new season here rather than train in Europe.”

Further back in the peloton were Valverde and Gerrans who crossed the line 25th and 27th respectively split only by Gerran’s stage finish pilot McEwen who made sure the Spaniard was well marked.

“I’m just really happy and proud to be part of this team here at the Santos Tour Down Under. I’m not retiring today, that was my last Aussie race officially, but the season’s not done. I am still going to race for another four months after this,” said McEwen. “It’s a fantastic way to go out as far as Australia racing is concerned. I joined the team and was really excited about being a part of the GreenEDGE project racing in an Aussie team, our national team. It was all about winning the jersey and that’s the success for the team, it feels like a personal win to be a part of it.”

Despite not being on the top step of the podium Valverde was satisfied to have won the Tour’s first ever hilltop finish yesterday.

“I am very happy with finishing second in the Santos Tour Down Under,”
said Valverde. “The outcome is much better than I expected when I came to Australia. Today was a super fast stage with a bit of wind that made it even more difficult. I’m very happy.”

At the end of the 803km six day event both Gerrans and Valverde remained deadlocked on 20:46:12 but Gerrans’ stage placings added up to a total of 102 and Valverde’s 175 giving the Australian the win.

“I certainly am [happy],” said GreenEDGE Team Director, Matt White, who last year steered Cameron Meyer to victory. “To win the Santos Tour Down Under with our newly crowned National Champion, we couldn’t have written a better script. [I’m] elated, just elated.”

Third place overall went to Portugese rider Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan) who was eight seconds back with Canberra’s Michael Rogers (Sky Pro Cycling) fourth at 14 seconds. On the same time as Rogers in fifth place was 21 year old Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia) who recently claimed both the under 23 time trial and road race national titles.

Dennis was in superb form this week to claim the SKODA King of the Mountain classification and the Cycle Instead Best Young Rider (under 26) trophy.

“I wasn’t sure I was actually going to finish this race,” said Dennis explaining the effect on him of the fast start to the stage. “I was pretty happy it slowed down, I think everybody was. With that surge at the start it almost slowed it down and made it a little bit easier towards the end.”

Dennis was also given the Tanya Denver Award as the highest placed South Australian overall.

Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen had hoped to climb higher in the overall rankings today but an attack from Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan) netted the Belgian some crucial bonus seconds in the Jayco intermediate sprints and pushed Boasson Hagen back to seventh. Bakelants’ audacious attack also saw him named the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive rider of the stage.

But Sky’s Boasson Hagen did hold onto his lead in the Jayco Sprint Classification to claim the trophy with 56 points, six ahead of Greipel.

“I got the jersey but I would like to be more up in the final stage, but I managed to keep the jersey so that’s a good thing,”
said Boasson Hagen. “It’s an early start to the season and to be on top form now is difficult. I’m happy to be on OK form and I can still get better.”

The Brilliant Blend Team trophy was awarded to RadioShack-Nissan-Trek who were 24 seconds ahead of Sky ProCycling after the times of the top three ranked riders from each team were tallied.

“We like to win a team GC and on top of that we managed to place Tiago, we are pretty happy with the outcome of the race,” said team captain Jens Voigt.

The final word goes to the man considered the most successful cyclist of all time, Belgian legend Eddy Merckx who was a special guest at this year’s event.

“It was a great race and I will be thanking everybody, everything was great,” said Merckx.

Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

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TDU: Valverde take stage victory and Gerrans overall lead https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/tdu-valverde-take-stage-victory-and-gerrans-overall-lead/ Sat, 21 Jan 2012 12:20:35 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3593 Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has won the Queen stage of the Santos Tour Down Under edging out Australian road champion, Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) whose second place atop Old Willunga Hill has put him into the race lead. Valverde (Movistar) stopped the clock at 3:45:48, half a wheel ahead of Gerrans as the pair both lunged for […]]]>

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has won the Queen stage of the Santos Tour Down Under edging out Australian road champion, Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) whose second place atop Old Willunga Hill has put him into the race lead.

Valverde (Movistar) stopped the clock at 3:45:48, half a wheel ahead of Gerrans as the pair both lunged for the line at the end of the Tour’s first ever hill top finish. Third across the line, two seconds back, was Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan) with Canberra’s Michael Rogers (Sky) a further two seconds back in fourth place.

“I’m super happy, I can’t believe it,” said Valverde. “My team has been genius, I’ve won thanks to them. It’s an emotional moment for me.

“The stage suited me. We’ve put the team at the front and it’s a perfect comeback for me.”

After the bonus seconds were allocated Valverde and Gerrans were equal on time at the top of the standings but a countback of previous stage placings put Gerrans in the Santos Tour Down Under ochre race leader’s jersey to the delight of GreenEDGE team owner Gerry Ryan, fans and team officials in South Australia to celebrate the debut of the first Australian registered team to race the WorldTour.

“I’m rapt to have the lead going into the last stage. It’s such a big deal for GreenEDGE to take the lead into the last stage in their first WorldTour outing so I’m thrilled and really rapt with the whole team’s performance, they have really supported me all week so I really can’t thank the guys enough.”

Gerrans’ team mate and local legend, Stuart O’Grady, who was named Hindmarsh Most Aggressive rider of the day, was overwhelmed by the atmosphere and support from the crowd of 120,000.

“It was seriously like an end of the Tour de France stage. Look at all the people, the stadium, the finish. I would never have dreamed a bike race to be as big in Australia, let alone Adelaide and the people have been absolutely fantastic,” said O’Grady. “Coming up the hill today, it was like the tour.”

O’Grady was one of six riders in the only serious breakaway of the day that established early in the 151km race that covered three laps from McLaren Vale, through Willunga and out to Aldinga Beach before the final two loops took the race up Old Willunga Hill. Joining O’Grady was Briton Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma – Lotto), Belgians Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM), and Kristof Goddaert (AG2R La Mondiale), Tasmanian Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda) and the Tour’s first Japanese entrant Takashi Miyazawa (Saxo Bank).

They contested both Jayco intermediate sprints with Goddaert winning the first sprint at Snapper Point (63.4km) and De Gendt the second at 103.4km.

But while the break rode out to a substantial lead early, the teams of the climbers had no intention of letting them stay away. Halfway up Old Willunga Hill for the first SKODA King of the Mountain they were all caught except for Haas who soloed over the top for the points.

“I thought my team mates are in that group so I thought moving out in front just gave them a sit on, and it would put some pressure on the legs of the other teams and I did that but unfortunately two of our riders got dropped and in the end it was only Jack Bauer,” said Haas who was caught on the descent. “It was inevitable …I knew that I didn’t have the legs to make up the climb the second time.”

As the front of the race regrouped the pace stayed high heading through Willunga for the last time with several attacks being launched. But in the end it was a select group of eight who challenged over the final 200 metres for a place on gthe podium.

UniSA-Australia’s Rohan Dennis, who recently claimed both the under 23 time trial and road race national titles, was in super form today and went all out to hold onto his lead in the SKODA King of the Mountain classification. He was third over the climb the first time and fifth on the stage to end the day with 29 points, five clear of De Gendt and Gerrans.

“The only way to do it is to put yourself in the race. I’m a little bit stuffed now but its all worth it in the end. I guess sometimes you need a little bit of form as well to have that confidence to actually go up the front but sometimes it’s just sort of a gut feeling, just sort of hope for the best,” said Dennis who is racing against some of his boyhood idols. “It’s always a bit of a worry because I know how good they actually are. I’m hoping they’re feeling or hurting as much as what I am. I just need to keep sort of positive when your at the front and you just think they’re hurting as much as you, really just stay as positive as possible.”

Dennis is also the top ranked in the Cycle Instead Young Rider (aged under 26) classification sitting five seconds ahead of Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) on the overall rankings and team manager Dave Sanders is thrilled with the way the composite national team has performed this week.

“I’m very proud of these kids [for holding onto the mountain jersey], I mean these are the best riders in the world, I just got them to believe not to be afraid of them, to race them,” said Sanders. “You’ll either get there or you won’t but you can’t (win) if you don’t have a go.”

Boasson Hagen is leading the Jayco Sprint classification on 46 points, 11 clear of two stage winner and previous race leader, Andre Greipel and hopes to hold onto that jersey and move a little higher up the standings from his current place of sixth at 18 seconds.

“My team did a great job and I managed to get up the climb first time so I felt really good,” said Boasson Hagen “(The second time) was really hard for me, so we managed to get over the top, so I’m so happy and the team did a great job today I thought.”

His team mate Rogers is sitting in fourth place overall at 14 seconds after an exhausting effort.

“The whole hill was pretty tough and there was strong head wind. The goal was to get everything out and scrape the bottom of barrel and I did that and I’m really happy,” said Rogers. “I jumped with 400 metres to go and Valverde and Gerrans got on my wheel and went when I blew. But I am really happy and it’s been a long time since I have been able to scrape the bottom of the barrel. It’s a win for myself and I am really happy.”

The leading team in the Brilliant Blend Team competition is RadioShack-Nissan-Trek who have a 24 seconds buffer over Sky ProCycling.

Sunday’s final stage will be contested over 20 laps of a street circuit at Elder Park on the banks of the Torrens River north of the Adelaide CBD. The 90 kilometre finale is set to be a corker with time bonuses up for grabs at the two Jayco intermediate sprints and on the stage finish and several riders in striking distance of the win.

Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

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TDU Oscar Freiere takes stage four while Greipel drops behind. https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/tdu-oscar-freiere-takes-stage-four-while-greipel-drops-behind/ Fri, 20 Jan 2012 10:38:35 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3505 Three time road race world champion, Oscar Freire, has won the Bupa Stage 4 of the Santos Tour Down Under in a frenetic sprint into Tanunda, in South Australia’s Barossa wine growing region. The 35 year old Spaniard led home a break of 50 riders who went clear on the final climb of the day […]]]>

Three time road race world champion, Oscar Freire, has won the Bupa Stage 4 of the Santos Tour Down Under in a frenetic sprint into Tanunda, in South Australia’s Barossa wine growing region. The 35 year old Spaniard led home a break of 50 riders who went clear on the final climb of the day leaving overnight leader Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) almost eight minutes behind.

“It was a difficult finale,” said Freire. “I knew I had a really good chance to win. The race was hard (so) it was better for me.

“I’m happy to score the team’s first victory of the year after joining Katusha,” said Freire who is in his first race for the Russian outfit.

The Santos Tour Down Under ochre leader’s jersey meantime is back on the shoulders of Swiss rider Martin Kohler (BMC) who finished with the lead group of 49 on today’s stage and is a mere two seconds ahead of both Australian Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Freire who are in second and third place overall respectively.

“I didn’t expect to be back in the lead but we dropped Andre Greipel on the climb and then we were riding hard to make the gap bigger,” said Kohler. “Tomorrow there will be ten or fifteen riders contesting the win at the top of Willunga Hill. It’s going to be very hard and I don’t know if I can keep this lead or not but I’m already happy with what I’m doing here.

“Our team BMC feels at home with all the support we get but of course we are the team of Cadel Evans,” said Kohler noting the popularity of his Tour de France winning Australian team mate.

Canberra’s Matthews was a little disappointed to not be in ochre but was looking on the bright side.

“The jersey I want is ochre and I’ll try to get it tomorrow,”
said Matthews. “It’s unfortunate that I missed it today by only two seconds. (But) not having the jersey today takes a lot of pressure off you but it’s also better to be ahead of everyone else.”

The 130km stage began in the suburb of Norwood and headed into the Adelaide Hills before travelling through the vineyards. A few riders tried to go clear early but the sprinters weren’t having any of that because the first of today’s two Jayco intermediate sprints was only 25 kilometres down the road at Kersbrook and bonus seconds were up for grabs. Greipel went hard at the line and nabbed the maximum three seconds with Matthews close behind to shave two seconds off his time.

After the sprint the pace settled and a small break went clear. Australian Jay McCarthy (UniSA-Australia) was in the quartet in front and collected the maximum points on offer at the first SKODA King of the Mountain for the day, a category two climb at Smith Hill (30km). Spaniard Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was second over the summit with Frenchman Blel Kadri (AG2R la Mondiale) third and Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) fourth.

Smukulis dropped back to the bunch soon after the climb but the remaining three rode on to contest the second Jayco sprint at Mt Pleasant (51km). This time Perez Moreno claimed the points ahead of Kadri and McCarthy. The lead margin hovered around the two minute mark for the next thirty kilometrees or so but as they approached the Menglers Hill category one climb (107km) they were caught by the bunch.

The capture of the trio triggered a pace increase and up Menglers the hill the tempo split the bunch with a more than a third of the peloton powering clear.

Amongst them was Freire who sailed home to win by a bike length from of Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma – Quickstep) (GER) who just edged out Italian Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) for second on the line.

The Jayco Points classification is now being led by Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) who collected 12 ponts today for fourth place and sits on 36 points, one ahead of Greipel.

“I just try every day to move up on overall GC. It’s nice to have the sprint jersey,” said Boasson Hagen. “I didn’t expect it but that’s not the one I’m looking for, I want to win the jersey of the overall classification.

“My team mate [Geraint] Thomas gave me a great lead out but I came off his wheel a bit too early. The battle is still very open.”

The SKODA King of the Mountain leader is now newly crowned Australian under 23 road race and time trial champion, Rohan Dennis, (UniSA-Australia) who was first over Menglers today to take his tally to 17 points, five clear of Belgian Thomas De Gendt (Vaconsoleil-DCM).

“I didn’t think that I would lead the King of the Mountain because I only had one point from my breakaway on day one,” said Dennis.  “Tomorrow at the bottom of Willunga it will be all or nothing.”

Kadri was named the Hindmarsh Most Agressive rider of the stage. Sky Pro Cycling is the Brilliant Blend leading team.

The Santos Tour Down Under continues tomorrow with the ‘Queen’ stage. Jayco stage 5 marks the first time the race has finished at the top of a climb with the 151.5km route starting in McLaren Vale and ending atop Old Willunga Hill which the riders will climb twice.

Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo
Source: Santos Tour Down Under

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Tour Down Under: Greipel regains overall lead https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/tour-down-under-greipel-regains-overall-lead/ Thu, 19 Jan 2012 07:06:41 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3496 The Santos Tour Down Under thundered into Victor Harbor today with German sprint sensation Andre Greipel leading home a bunch gallop to win the third stage and reclaim the overall lead. The Lotto-Belisol rider, who won both the curtain raiser Down Under Classic race on Sunday night and the first stage of the Tour into […]]]>

The Santos Tour Down Under thundered into Victor Harbor today with German sprint sensation Andre Greipel leading home a bunch gallop to win the third stage and reclaim the overall lead. The Lotto-Belisol rider, who won both the curtain raiser Down Under Classic race on Sunday night and the first stage of the Tour into Clare on Tuesday, was just too fast for his rivals edging out FDJ – BigMat rider Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR) by half a wheel with Norwegian Evald Boasson Hagen (Sky) third across the line.

“This victory is for Jurgen Roelandts who unfortunately supports us from the hospital,” said Greipel of his team mate who was injured in the crash at the end of the stage into Clare. “We’re nearly three riders down but the rest of the team that is not injured has been awesome today.

The win puts Greipel back into the ochre leader’s jersey with an eight second margin over Swiss rider Martin Kohler (BMC). Australian Michael Matthews (Rabobank) finished with the bunch and remains in third place overall at 12 seconds.

“I’m happy to get back into the lead but the time bonus (10 seconds for the stage win) I got again isn’t important in my mind,” said Greipel who has twice won overall honours but concedes he is unlikely to win a third. “The Willunga stage (Saturday) is too hard for me to win GC this year. With two stage wins, we’ve already reached our goal. We can’t have everything and we just take it day by day.”

The stage today departed from the cosmopolitan shopping hub of Unley for a 134.5km route that took in the breath taking countryside of both the McLaren Vale and the picturesque coastal scenes of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

A group of three went down the road in the first five kilometres made up of Russian Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) and Belgians Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) and Thomas De Gendt (Vaconsoleil-DCM). They were soon joined by Ireland’s Matthew Brammeier (Omega Pharma – Quickstep).

De Gendt was the only rider in the quartet already on the board in the SKODA King of the Mountain competition so, not surprisingly, he hit out up Sellicks Hill Category 2 climb to claim the maximum ten points ahead of Brammeier, Bakelants and Vorganov. That puts De Gendt in the polka dot jersey with a two point lead over yesterday’s stage winner Tasmanian Will Clarke (UniSA-Australia).

The break stretched to a lead of around five minutes but the peloton, after failing to catch Clarke yesterday, judged today’s chase to perfection.

The two Jayco intermediate sprints were hotly contested by the top three placed riders with a maximum of six bonus seconds up for grabs and all within 12 seconds of the race lead. De Gendt proved the swiftest of the trio battling for the points and won the dash for the line at both Mt Compass (65km) and Goolwa (89.4km). By then the margin had shrunk to less than two minutes.

“Three of the four riders (in the break) had the same goal and that was to take the second sprint and then after that we just wanted to go back to the peloton,” said De Gendt.

After the sprint at Goolwa Brammeier tried a solo attack off the front as the peloton reeled in his there fellow escapees and although he held on for a few more kilometres it wasn’t too be his day for victory. Ten kilometres from home the pace was frenetic as the sprinter’s jostled for position.

“It was our intention to keep the breakaway in sight with a good gap. The crosswinds have made the race faster. The one kilometre to go mark was the most important point of today’s stage,” said Greipel. “I told my team-mates ‘I need to be in fifth or sixth position at that point’.They did a great job to put me there and I finished it off.”

De Gendt’s efforts along the road moved him up to fourth overall, 14 seconds off Greipel’s lead.

“The legs are not so good but I will try to attack. I think tomorrow is the best for me just to stay in the peloton and then Old Willunga Hill is going to be so hard but I am going to try and be in the front.”

Matthews still leads the Cycle Intead Best Young Rider under 26 classification but was a little disapointed with today’s finish.

“The boys had a really good lead out for me and I just couldn’t really hold the wheel in the last couple of kilometres,” said Matthews. “It just got a bit messy and Mark Renshaw [Rabobank team mate] held the lead out but I just wasn’t there to finish it.”

Tomorrow’s BUPA Stage 4 travels 130km from Norwood in Adelaide’s eastern suburb’s to Tanunda in the Barossa wine growing region. Stage 4 also hosts the Bupa Challenge Tour with more than seven thousand cycling enthusiasts hopping on their bikes to ride the race route. Joining them on the family friendly Tanunda loop will be cycling legend, Eddy Merckx.

Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo
Source: Santos Tour Down Under

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2012 TDU: UniSA Will Clark breaks away and wins https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/2012-tdu-unisa-will-clark-breaks-away-and-wins/ Wed, 18 Jan 2012 09:29:31 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3468 Tasmanian Will Clarke (UniSA-Australia) posted a superman solo effort today to secure victory in the Colemans Group Stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under. He finished 1:02 ahead of the bunch led home by 2011 stage winner Australian, Michael Matthews (Rabobank) with newly crowned Australian road race champion, Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) in third place. […]]]>

Tasmanian Will Clarke (UniSA-Australia) posted a superman solo effort today to secure victory in the Colemans Group Stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under. He finished 1:02 ahead of the bunch led home by 2011 stage winner Australian, Michael Matthews (Rabobank) with newly crowned Australian road race champion, Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) in third place.

The stage began in Lobethal and wove it’s way through the Adelaide Hills to Stirling. A stage record crowd of 110 thousand enthusiastic fans set themselves up to enjoy the action especially along the 21 kilometre finishing circuit out and back to Stirling which the riders covered three times.

“This is unbelievable really,” said Clarke. “This is the biggest win of my career. It’s my first win in the WorldTour. I knew my form was good.”

26 year old Clarke broke away in the first few kilometres of the stage with Swiss rider Martin Kohler (BMC) and by the 30 kilometre mark they had a lead of more than eight minutes on the peloton.

Kohler, 26, was also in yesterday’s attack and today he had his sights set on the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey. He started the day only four seconds off the pace and outpaced Clarke in both of the day’s Jayco Intermediate sprints, Mt Torrens (23.7km) and Balhannah (62.4km), to collect the maximum six bonus seconds. That proved enough in the end to put him in the race lead with a narrow two second margin from overnight leader, Germany’s, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol). Matthews second place moves him up to third overall at four seconds.

“It is very cool,” said Kohler. “We had this little funny plan this morning, just go for it, and I am close on the GC (overall) and I tried again and the first attack was the successful one.

“It was a little bit surprising and if no-one was following – why not (attack)?” said Kohler. “It means a lot, because it is my first leader’s jersey and it is one of my favourite days here in Australia, but it is early in the season, so for sure it’s good to be already in good shape, but I know it’s going to be hard for the next stage which is a longer stage, with an uphill finish, which is different and more tough than other years. Its going to be really hard for me to defend the jersey because I think the last two days I have lost a little bit of energy.”

The Swiss rider dropped back to the bunch after claiming his sprint bonuses leaving Clarke in front alone for the final 90 kilometres of the stage.

“He probably thought it was not worth keeping going but the peloton gave me more time and I thought ‘you guys have to chase me hard to catch me’,” said Clarke. “I was dying in the last ten kilometres.

“[Team Manager] Dave [Sanders] was telling me to go for GC but… It’s amazing that a breakaway rider can stay away for so long. It’s sort of my speciality to keep going.”

Clarke started the day 1min50sec off the race lead but the tactic of joining an early attack not only netted him the stage win but he also claimed the SKODA King of the Mountain jersey as the first rider over today’s category two climb at Fox Creek (46.7km). On top of that he is leading the Jayco Sprint classification because of the 15 points he collected for the stage win and the six he claimed in the intermediate sprints behind Kohler.

Tomorrow the race departs from the cosmopolitan shopping hub of Unley for a 134.5km route that takes in the breath taking countryside of both the McLaren Vale and the picturesque coastal scenes of the Fleurieu Peninsula. The finish is in the seaside town of Victor Harbor.

Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo
Source: Santos Tour Down Under

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2012 TDU: Greipel dodges crash and grabs race lead https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/2012-tdu-greipel-dodges-crash-and-grabs-race-lead/ Wed, 18 Jan 2012 00:09:31 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3463 German sprint sensation Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) simply sizzled to claim the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under by a mere half a wheel from Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) with Yauheni Hutarovich from Belarus (FDJ-BigMat) a bike length back in third place. The 149 kilometre stage took the riders from Prospect, north of Adelaide, […]]]>

German sprint sensation Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) simply sizzled to claim the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under by a mere half a wheel from Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) with Yauheni Hutarovich from Belarus (FDJ-BigMat) a bike length back in third place.

The 149 kilometre stage took the riders from Prospect, north of Adelaide, into the searing heat of a 40-plus degrees celsius South Australian summer day with gusty, blustery winds making it tough going for the 133 world class cyclists who reached the finish line in Clare more than half an hour later than expected.

The heat didn’t deter the fans with an estimated 95 thousand grabbing whatever shade they could find to wait for the stars of world cycling to come their way with many taking part in one of the many community events staged in support of the race.

When the riders eventually reached Clare a high speed crash 800 metres from the line split the peloton leaving the major sprinters scrabbling for position. Greipel was one of around 20 who were quick to recover their composure and forge ahead to contest the finish. Any riders caught up in the crash were given the same time as the winner because the crash occurred within three kilometres of the finish.

“I’m lucky that I won today,” said Greipel who also won Sunday’s curtain raiser Down Under Classic. “There has been a massive crash with 800 metres to go, my pedal got touched and I lost positions from about fifth to twentieth. But I could bridge the gap.

“Two of my team-mates crashed,”said a concerned Greipel. “That’s all I care about after winning this stage. We had a really hard time today with the high temperatures.”

In the wake of the crash three riders and a spectator were taken to hospital. Italian Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale) was treated for grazes but later released from SportsMed Adelaide after x-rays showed no fracture of his collar bone. FDJ-BigMat rider Frederic Guesdon (FRA) has been admitted to Royal Adelaide Hospital with a fractured pelvis and is likely to remain there for at least a few days to allow the break to stabilise. Greipel’s team mate Jurgen Roelandts (BEL) was also taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital for precautionary scans with the results expected overnight. A spectator caught up in the crash was treated at Clare Hospital.

Greipel’s victory has put him into the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey with a four second margin over Petacchi. He also leads the Jayco Sprint Classification.

At the start of the stage four riders launched an early attack and established a lead of more than ten minutes by the 20 kilometre mark. Amongst them was UniSA-Australia’s Rohan Dennis, who last week claimed both the under-23 time trial and road race national titles. With the young South Australian was Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil-DCM), German Martin Kohler (BMC) and Russian Eduard Vorganov (Katusha).

At the first Jayco intermediate sprint at Kapunda (75km) Kohler was awarded the win with Vorganov relegated to last place in the sprint for not holding his line. Kohler also claimed maximum points and a three second time bonus at the second sprint prime in Riverton (104km).

Today’s only Skoda King of the Mountain contest was a category three climb at Taylors Run and it was Pavarin who grabbed the points to secure the early lead in the polka dot jersey competition.

Rohan Dennis collected three bonus seconds for his placings in the Jayco intermediate sprints to put him in the Cycle Instead Young Rider jersey as the best placed rider overall under the age of 25.

“It was exceptionally hot today and the wind made it virtually impossible at times. At one point we were only doing 20km an hour,”
said Dennis. “At the finish I stayed well back to let the sprinters go, I am glad I did, when the crash happened I was able to avoid it and stay with the bunch.”

Coleman’s Group Stage 2 will take the race into the Adelaide Hills for a 148 kilometre route from Lobethal to Stirling.


Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo
Source: 2012 Santos Tour Down Under

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2012 TDU: Greipel sprint train delivers victory https://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/01/2012-tdu-greipel-sprint-train-delivers-victory/ Sun, 15 Jan 2012 23:04:59 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/?p=3427 Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo German sprint star Andre Greipel has sailed to victory in the Down Under Classic to kick off a week of world class cycling. The Classic is the curtain raiser for the Santos Tour Down Under, which Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has won twice, in 2008 and 2010. Tonight he crossed […]]]>

Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

German sprint star Andre Greipel has sailed to victory in the Down Under Classic to kick off a week of world class cycling. The Classic is the curtain raiser for the Santos Tour Down Under, which Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has won twice, in 2008 and 2010. Tonight he crossed the line ahead of Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) with Australian Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) third.

“As a team, we didn’t want to race with too much pressure but it worked out well,” said Greipel who arrived in Australia super fit and ready to race. “We practiced a lot of lead out train before this race and it paid off. It’s always good to win and it’s a great way to start a new season.

“It wasn’t very difficult for me actually. I only had to follow Greg Henderson who himself followed Jurgen Roelandts,”said Greipel in praise of his team mates. “I just needed to stay on their wheel and get out with 200 metres to go. The race organisation did a good job in making the final corner a bit wider. It was less dangerous than in the past few years. Today’s win is a good warm up for the Santos Tour Down Under. It puts our team Lotto-Belisol on the right track.”

The pace was on from the gun in the 51 kilometre (30 laps) circuit race with Frenchman Arnaud Courteille, 22, of FDJ-BigMat the first to launch an attack.

“I didn’t intend to attack from the gun but I got thrilled because of the hype,” said Courteille. “This is my first time in Australia and I found the crowd absolutely fabulous, that’s what made me go up the road. It was pure euphoria.

“I knew that my good friend, Mickael Cherel, did the same thing two years together with Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pereiro and Peter Sagan.”

But he wasn’t alone for long as nine riders headed out to join him in front including Spaniard Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) who won the Skoda sprint on lap five, the first of four intermediate sprints.

“I would have liked to win the first sprint but I got passed by a Movistar rider coming from I don’t where,” said Courteille who then dropped back to the peloton. “Once we got caught, my throat was all fired up because of this violent effort. But it was a great ride. I enjoyed it a lot.”

Garmin-Barracuda’s newest Australian recruit Nathan Haas was in the lead group and he was on a mission to grab the remaining sprints claiming the Hindmarsh sprint at lap ten, the Cycle Instead sprint at lap 15 and the Jayco sprint on lap 20.

But as the race headed into the final ten laps the lead group was in sight and the peloton soon reeled them in to set up a lightning fast final few laps that ended in a bunch sprint.

The riders will have a day off racing tomorrow to prepare for the opening WorldTour race which gets underway on Tuesday with stage one of the Santos Tour Down Under, a 149km stage from Prospect to Clare.


Source:  Santos Tour Down Under

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Cardoso climbs clear of contenders in Stirling https://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/01/cardoso-climbs-clear-of-contenders-in-stirling/ Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:48:39 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/01/cardoso-climbs-clear-of-contenders-in-stirling/ Portugal’s reigning road champion Manuel Cardoso upstaged a 2009 grand tour champion and the current World Champion to win stage three of the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under.

Cardoso crossed the line in a time of 3hr14min38sec, one second clear of Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) who won last year’s Tour of Spain and 2009 elite men’s road race World Champion, Australian Cadel Evans (BMC).

Oppressive weather saw temperatures top the 40 degree mark but the riders overcame the heat to stage an exciting battle over an undulating course through the Adelaide Hills watched on by an estimated 102,000 fans. Cardoso was impressive on the sharp, punchy climb into the finish line in the town of Stirling after 132.5km of hard, hot riding from the start in the Adelaide suburb of Unley.

“I was extremely happy to have won the tough stage to Stirling,” said Cardoso. “Once the attack had been closed Caisse d’Epargne did a lot of work on the front in preparation for the finish but I was able to make a big move in the final kilometre.

“I don’t think I have a chance to win the overall despite my win here, I have had a lot of hard days over the first couple of days of this race, I am probably too far behind,” said Cardoso who is 8min40sec off the overall race lead. “But it was really important for me, it is my first pro race, first pro team, first ProTour victory for me and the team, so it is a very important win.”

Overnight Tour leader, Germany’s Andre Greipel, (HTC-Columbia), survived the day to finish with the front group to hold on to the Santos Ochre Leader’s jersey.

“Yes just because of my team mates we control the race, we control the whole day and in the end I try to stay on the wheels of the others to just stay in the same time like the bunch,” said Greipel who admits he suffered in the heat. “I had cramps everywhere on my body.”

A flurry of attacks at the start of the stage left some riders struggling on the uphill drag of the Southern Expressway and several were involved in a crash including reigning American road champion, George Hincapie. They all eventually rejoined the race.

Seven time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong, needed a new rear wheel after puncturing at the 22 kilometre mark but he too was soon back in the peloton.

Meantime at the front the attacks were coming thick and fast but unlike the previous two stages the protaganists were kept on a very short leash by HTC-Columbia who were controlling the front of the peloton to protect Greipel’s lead.

The first Jayco Intermediate sprint at McLaren Flat (30.9km) went to Spaniard Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel – Euskadi) ahead of Australian Peter McDonald (UniSA-Australia) with Andriy Grivko of the Ukraine (Astana) third across the line.

But their time in the front was shortlived and it was then the turn of South Australia’s Luke Roberts and his Milram team mate Thomas Rohregger (AUT) to go on the attack with the view of putting Rohregger in the lead in the Skoda King of the Mountain classification. Over the Wickhams Hill climb at 38.5 kilometres Rohregger collected the points ahead of Roberts with Kazakh Valveriy Dmitriyev (Astana) third. Tim Roe (UniSA- Australia) managed to get points for fourth place but it wasn’t enough for him to hold on to the climber’s jersey.

At the 70 kilometre mark the most promising attack was instigated by Victorian Simon Clarke (UniSA-Australia) and Dutch rider Karsten Kroon (BMC). They were then joined by reigning U23 road time trial World Champion, Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Transitions) and managed to forge a small 40 second lead on the peloton.

The trio contested the second Jayco intermediate sprint at Echunga (74km) with Kroon first across the line ahead of Clarke then Bobridge. After the sprint German rider Jens Voight (Saxo Bank) and Poland’s Maciej Paterski (Liquigas) managed to bridge the gap and the five leaders then worked together to try and increase their chances of staying clear to contest the finish.

As they crossed the finish line at Stirling to start the first of two twenty kilometre circuits out and back from Stirling the five in front had a gap of 50 seconds.

“It was hot and I think the Europeans really struggled towards the end, yeah they won but the guys in the break that were going hard were strong a bit earlier but when we started hitting these laps they really started struggling and that was when it started to get hot,” said Clarke who along with Bobridge then jumped clear of their fellow breakaways. “It was the perfect conditions for the guys who have been preparing in Australia and the Aussies and also with the wind so it was definitely a good opportunity.

“We gave it everything we could and then Matt Lloyd (Omega Pharma – Lotto) came across as well but Caisse D’Epargne had other intentions.”

Even with the support of the thousands who lined the road they couldn’t hold off the charge of the peloton who swallowed up the leaders before the finish line opening the way for the climbers to stretch their legs in a bid for the podium.

“It was a bit of a strange old day, a bit harder than most expected, pretty windy and the heat of course,” said Evans. “Coming into the last kilometre it was like riding in slow motion almost, everyone was so exhausted.

“It is not often I get into the last kilometre with (sprinter) Robbie McEwen, in fact never,” he said. “My team are all a bit disappointed, I told them not to ride for me today, then I come third.”

Overall Greipel is still leading by a 14 second margin from Team Sky’s Greg Henderson (NZL) with Belgian Gert Steegmans (Radioshack) ranked third, also at 14 seconds. Valverde is now in fourth place overall also at 14 seconds. Evans has moved into seventh at 16 seconds.

The Skoda King of the Mountain jersey is now on the shoulders of Austrian rider Thomas Rohregger of Milram. Greipel also leads the Jayco Sprint classification and Belgian Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma – Lotto) is the top ranked Cycle Instead Young Rider.

UniSA-Australia’s Simon Clarke was named the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive Rider of the Day.

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Greipel also takes Stage 2 of the Santos TDU https://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/01/greipel-also-takes-stage-2-of-the-santos-tdu/ Wed, 20 Jan 2010 21:33:19 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/01/greipel-also-takes-stage-2-of-the-santos-tdu/ Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) today paid homage to the heritage of Hahndorf, first settled by Germans in 1839, winning a rip-roaring sprint to claim his second straight stage of this year’s Santos Tour Down Under and repeat the win he claimed in the same town in 2008, the year he won overall honours in the Tour.

Greipel rocketed ahead in the last 50 metres to find clear space at the head of a baying bunch of world class sprinters crossing the line in a time of 3hr23min49sec at the end of the 133.5km stage from Gawler, through the Adelaide Hills, to Hahndorf. The stage attracted 94,000 fans today.

“In the end it was like the finish two years ago,” Greipel explained. “I waited a long time again [before starting my sprint] and we won again.

“That is why we are here, to perform good,” he said of the perfect lead out by his team mates for the second day in a row. “It’s nice to win in a German town”.

Team Sky’s Greg Henderson (NZL) was second and Australia’s Robbie McEwen (Katusha) crossed the line in third place.

Greipel’s win has increased his overall lead to 14 seconds from Henderson with Belgian Gert Steegmans (Radioshack) now in third place overall also at 14 seconds. Robbie McEwen has moved into fourth at 16 seconds.

“We have a good team here to maybe hold on to the leader’s jersey, but there’s two really hard stages coming up,” said Greipel who knows the race is far from being finished.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd flew in to lend his support at the start in Gawler along with thousands of very excited fans and an attack went as soon as the flag dropped. A trio of riders broke away in the first kilometre and, since none posed a threat to overall race honours, they were allowed to get away from the peloton.

UniSA -Australia’s David Kemp (AUS) and two Omega Pharma-Lotto riders, Mickael Delage (FRA) and Olivier Kaisen (BEL) were well in front by the time they hit the first Jayco intermediate sprint in Lyndoch (13km) where Delage was first ahead of Kemp and Kaisen. They amassed a lead of more than 11 minutes by the 35km mark and maintained that for a fair stretch but as they approached the only Skoda King of the Mountain of the day the peloton began the chase.

Kemp broke clear of his breakaway companions to claim the maximum points over Checker Hill with Delage second and Kaisen third. Kemp went on with it after the climb forging a solo lead but Delage and Kaisen soon rejoined him.

“It was really fun, it was good being up there and getting really involved in the race but trying to beat the big sprinters home was always going to be a challenge,” said Kemp. “I think I got caught with about eight km to go so unfortunately we missed out today but there is always next time and I took it to them today”.

At the second Jayco intermediate sprint at Mt Torrens (108.7km) Delage went across the line first ahead of Kemp and Kaisen.

But the big guns had already written the script for a sprint spectacular and that’s what they delivered in Hahndorf.

At the end of the day Greipel also increased his lead in the Jayco Sprint Classification while UniSA-Australia rider Timothy Roe remains in the lead in the Skoda King of the Mountains classification but is tied on points with his team mate Kemp.

Belgian rider Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma – Lotto) is the leader of the Cycle Instead Young Rider category and AG2R-La-Mondiale leads the SA Brilliant Blend Team Classification.

Tomorrow’s 132.5km Stage 3 begins in the Adelaide suburb of Unley and travels through the Adelaide Hills to finish in Stirling.

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Andrea Greipel takes 2010 TDU Stage One https://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/01/andrea-greipel-takes-tdu-stage-one/ Tue, 19 Jan 2010 21:16:56 +0000 https://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/01/andrea-greipel-takes-tdu-stage-one/ 2008 Champion Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) has signalled his intention to reclaim the crown after sprinting to victory in the opening stage of the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under.

The German sprinter was a clear winner ahead of Radioshack’s Gert Steegmans (BEL) with another Belgian rider, Jurgen Roelandts (Omega-Pharma-Lotto) third in a bunch sprint for first blood in the first UCI ProTour event for the season.

The lead riders completed the 141 km stage from Clare, through some of the world’s premium winegrowing regions, to the finish in the Barossa Valley town of Tanunda in a time of 3hr15min30sec.

Greipel earned a ten second bonus for the stage win to put him in the Santos race leader’s jersey with Steegmans sitting four seconds behind in second place. Swiss rider, Martin Kohler (BMC) won both Jayco intermediate sprints of the day to knock six seconds off his race time putting him in third place overall, also four seconds behind Greipel.

Clare turned out on force to support the event and she stage began with a crash and a bang before it had even left the town of Clare when there was a rider collision and reigning World Champion Cadel Evans needed a shoe replacement in the early part of the race.

Euskadel-Euskadi rider Gorka Izagirre (ESP) launched an very early attack but it didn’t last. UniSA-Australia rider Timothy Roe then had a go with Kohler and AG2R la Mondiale rider Biel Kadri (FRA) joining him in the lead. The trio managed gained a lead of almost ten minutes by the 45 kilometre mark and merrily made their way through both intermediate sprints at Riverton (44.6km) and Kapunda (74.5km) but as the race approached the Skoda King of the Mountain at 114km the chasing peloton was hot on their wheels.

Roe wasn’t waiting to be caught and launched a solo attack at the foot of Mengler’s Hill and managed to stay clear to collect the climber’s points across the summit cheered all the way thousands of vocal fans who lined the road. The 20 year old was also awarded the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive Rider of the Day Jersey for initiating the break and snatching the Skoda jersey.

However after the climb the sprinter’s teams got organised and hunted down all challengers as they worked to set up their fast men for the finish which was a furious, fast paced gallop to the line.

Tomorrow’s 133km Stage 2 will take the peloton from Gawler, north of Adelaide and through the Adelaide Hills to Hahndorf.

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