Canadian Cyclist


January 21/14 10:10 am - Tour Down Under: Stage 1

Posted by Editoress on 01/21/14

Australian Simon Gerrans has continued his impressive season start and signalled his intention to claim his third Santos Tour Down Under crown with a stunning sprint to win the San Remo Pasta Stage 1 in Angaston.

Gerrans, who won the Australian Open Road Race title a little over a week ago, has given his Orica-GreenEDGE team more reason to celebrate with today's win ahead of the more fancied sprinter André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) of Germany. Australian Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) was third across the line.



Photo courtesy Orica-GreenEDGE


"I guess I’ve surprised a few, myself included," said Gerrans who won the Santos Tour Down Under in 2006 and 2012. "Obviously André (Greipel) is one of the fastest sprinters around.

"It was a tough finale and everyone was tired. I had to sprint really late because of the head wind (and) looking towards the end of the week, it might have been better if André had the lead but we’ve seen in the past few years that this race is won or lost by seconds, so you have to take every opportunity.

"Every second counts," said Gerrans. "I hope it’s not too early to hold the jersey but we have a fantastic squad here, so I’m optimistic for keeping the lead till the end."

He crossed the line in a time of 3h20m34s and his results today has put him into the Santos Ochre Leader's jersey and with the time bonuses he collected today he now has a lead of five seconds on Greipel with Von Hoff third at seven seconds.

The 135 kilometre stage began in the town of Nuriootpa and wound it's way through the Barossa winegrowing region to the nearby town of Angaston. The stage had been in doubt due to a bushfire at Eden Valley, 18km south of Angaston that had been burning since Friday, but after getting the all clear from the Country Fire Service and South Australian Police the 138 world class cyclists lined up to kick off the 2014 WorldTour. They were greeted enthusiastically by an estimated 88 thousand fans who flocked to the area to support both the event and the local economy.

"We'd like to say thanks to all those who came out today and at this difficult time would like to especially thank the locals for their support," said Race Director Mike Turtur. "The riders really appreciate it and we hope the race going ahead today has provided a boost for the region."

The race travelled through scenic vineyards for two circuits before being led onto Menglers Hill by Team Sky for the Category 1 Climb that tested the legs of the peloton

The main contenders stayed in touch up the climb before Australian Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) attacked close to the top to score the major points for the day and in the process the lead in the Skoda King of the Mountain classification. Second over the line was Frenchman Axel Domont followed by Laurent Didier (LUX | Trek Factory Racing).

"Garmin-Sharp and Sky were pulling in the climb but I was in a very good position, so I decided to have a go and see what happened," said Hansen who is a key workhorse for team mate Greipel. "It’s a nice jersey to have but I don’t think I’ll fight to defend it. Our main goal remains to win a stage and I’ll work for that as a priority."

Hansen was reeled in soon after before Japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) and team mate Bjorn Thurau from Germany broke away. But despite a second surge from Thurau and a bid by Australian Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo) to escape the sprinter's trains brought it back together to set up a bunch sprint.

All bets were on Greipel, a prolific stage winner and 2008 and 2010 overall winner of the Santos Tour Down Under, but after the stage he admitted today's course wasn't suited to his style of sprinting.

"It was a perfect finish for Gerro [Gerrans] today," said Greipel. "The gearing was just too hard for me today.

"It wasn't a bunch sprint today, it was very hard today, and I am no climber. I tried to go up as fast as possible, so it's a good sign that the condition is there but the headwind played against us today."

Third placed Von Hoff was pleased to be in the placings.

"We had really good teamwork today," said Von Hoff of his Garmin-Sharp line up. "They rode for me all day. The sprint was very hard. I didn't quite have the legs to come around Gerro [ Gerrans].

"The legs are going well, so we're hoping for a good week," he said. "Third is not bad. It shows I'm in good condition."

Early in the stage two riders broke way and forged a lead of more than three minutes. Drapac's Will Clarke (AUS) won the first of the Adam Internet intermediate sprints in Bethany at 26km while his breakaway companion Neil van der Ploeg of the UniSA-Australia team was second. Simon Geschke (GER | Giant-Shimano) led the the main field across the line for third.

At the second Adam Internet sprint, also at Bethany, 72km into the stage it was van der Ploeg who crossed ahead of Clarke while Gerrans grabbed a one second time bonus for third place.

Clarke was named the Europcar Most Competitive rider of the day for his efforts in the early breakaway.

"The team’s plan was to have one of us in the breakaway. The first attempt worked, which is not really that common," said Clarke. "It was me and Neil Van der Ploeg. It was nice to be up there. But they worked pretty well together in the peloton. They never let us go far. I was hoping for a lead of six or seven minutes but we didn’t even reached four minutes.

"Possibly some teams remembered that I won in Stirling two years ago surviving such a breakaway."

Spain was also represented today with Carlos Verona taking the lead in the Cycle Instead Young Rider category. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider is ranked 15th overall at 15 seconds.

"In the last climb, we were going to prepare the finale for Matteo Trentin but he didn’t overcome the climb," said Verona. "Jan Bakelants, Julian Alaphilippe and I made the front group. I was working for Bakelants but I found myself ahead of him and I finished seventh, which gives me the best young rider jersey.

"I’m happy about that but our goal remains to ride GC (overall) for Bakelants," said Verona. "If I can remain the best young rider, it would be a bonus."


Tour Down Under press release



Stage 1: Nuriootpa to Angaston, 135 km
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE 3:20:34
2 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
3 Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
7 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
8 Rafael Valls (Esp) Lampre-Merida
9 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin
11 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky all s.t.
12 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:04
13 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
14 Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica-GreenEDGE
15 Carlos Verona (Esp) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
16 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
17 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
18 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
19 Ruben Plaza (Esp) Movistar
20 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
21 George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale
22 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Europcar
23 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana
24 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac
25 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac
26 Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky
27 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
28 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
29 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky
30 Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
31 Kenny Elissonde (Fra)
32 Christpher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
33 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana
34 Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale
35 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac
36 Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida
37 Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC
38 Steve Morabito (Sui) BMC
39 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Europcar
40 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory
41 Axel Domont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
42 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
43 Robbie Hucker (Aus) Drapac
44 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
45 Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UniSA -Australia
46 Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
47 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
48 Mark O'Brien (Aus) UniSA -Australia
49 Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
50 Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin-Sharp
51 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
52 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
53 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha
54 Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)
55 Anthony Roux (Fra)
56 Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC
57 Bjorn Hurau (Ger) Europcar
58 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana
59 Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha
60 Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA -Australia
61 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
62 Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
63 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
64 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
65 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing
66 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Belisol
67 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Astana
68 Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar
69 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) all s.t.
70 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac 2:20
71 Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac
72 Matejv Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale
73 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
74 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano
75 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha
76 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
77 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)
78 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory
79 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
80 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
81 William Bonnet (Fra)
82 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha
83 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra)
84 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
85 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
86 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
87 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale
88 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
89 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp
90 Arnaud Courteille (Fra)
91 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
92 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
93 Kevin Reza (Fra) Europcar
94 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
95 Caleb Ewan (Aus) UniSA -Australia all s.t.
96 Michael Kolar (Slo) Tinkoff-Saxo 3:52
97 Nicolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
98 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
99 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano all s.t.
100 Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin 3:56
101 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin
102 Bradley Linfield (Aus) UniSA -Australia
103 Jérome Cousin (Fra) Europcar
104 Ivan Jose Gutierrez (Esp) Movistar
105 Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing
106 Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha
107 Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale
108 Imanol Erviti (Esp) Movistar
109 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
110 Aleksandr Porsev (Rus) Katusha
111 Evan Huffman (USA) Astana
112 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin
113 Michael Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
114 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
115 Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha all s.t.
116 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana 5:53
117 José Juan Lobato (Esp) Movistar 6:54
118 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE 8:08
119 Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
120 Bernard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky
121 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
122 Luke Rowe (Gbr) Team Sky
123 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
124 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
125 Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA -Australia
126 Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA -Australia
127 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale
128 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
129 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida
130 Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin
131 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
132 Maxime Daniel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
133 William Clarke (Aus) Drapac
134 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
135 Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Giant-Shimano
136 Rick Flens (Ned) Belkin
137 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida all s.t.
138 David Tanner (Aus) Belkin 0:00


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