Greipel Takes TDU Opening Win

Last updated : 17 January 2012 By Kev Monks

Lotto's Andre Greipel took the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under today.

The 149km stage from Prospect to Clare, took place on a hot day and saw four riders away early.

They were eleven minutes clear befoe Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team) took the first sprint of the day and the first three points. However when the first King Of The Mountains climb came shortly afterwards, he could only finish second behind Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoliel-DCM).

Team Sky which included Geraint Thomas and Alex Dowsett ramped up the pace of the peloton and the quartet lead's started to drop dramatically.

With four kms to go, the break for the day was over and the riders were now trying to position their sprinters.

Just before the line, there was a crash with twenty riders involved and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) and Frederic Guesdon (FDJ-BigMat)  taken to Royal Adelaide Hosptial, but Andre Greipel took the victory in a photo finsh from Petacchi and Sabatini.

British and Irish finishers - Geraint Thomas 15th, Alex Dowsett 25th, Matthew Brammeier 98th, Andrew Fenn 117th, Adam Blythe 121st.

Highlights of the stage can be seen on Sky Sports 4 tonight at 18.30.