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André Greipel sprints to victory in the first stage of the Tour Down Under 2012 (Prospect > Clare)

Added: tuesday 17 January 2012 at 9:36:00
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    André Greipel sprints to victory in the first stage of the Tour Down Under 2012 (Prospect > Clare)Since this morning, the 2012 edition of the UCI WorldTour officially started with the first stage of the Tour Down Under from Prospect to Clare and this stage was won by André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) who also won the Down Under Classic last Sunday.
    A longlasting breakaway and a serious crash in the last kilometer were the most important events in this stage which was won by the gorilla.

    The summary of the Prospect > Clare stage of the Tour Down Under 2012

    The stage started in Prospect today, north of Adelaide (see The Tour Down Under 2012 race route on Google Maps/Google Earth), under impressive weather conditions with temperatures above 40°C (!) and an impressive wind.

    Immediately after the start, the leading group of this stage was formed by Rohan Dennis (UniSA Australia), Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), Martin Kohler for BMC Racing Team and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha Team).

    While their gap went up to a maximum of 11'40", the Swiss rider Martin Kohler managed to get the points in the first intermediate sprint in Kapunda, halfway the race, ahead of Rohan Dennis and Marcello Pavarin. The top of the first climb of this Tour Down Under, between Kapunda and Tarlee, was reached first by Marcello Pavarin, the Italian rider of the Vacansoleil team. He thus took the points for the KOM classification ahead of Martin Kohler and Eduard Vorganov.

    When the leading group is almost getting caught by the peloton, Martin Kohler again takes some points in the second intermediate sprint in Riverton. At that point, Rohan Dennis decides to try it solo instead of simply being taken back by the peloton. Even though his gap quickly goes above one minute, it seemed to be impossible beforehand for him to stay ahead and it was thus not surprising that the peloton caught him just after having taken over his 3 breakaway mates. The peloton clearly targeted a bunch sprint for this finish in Clare.

    Will Clarke (UniSA-Australia), the rider who rode for the Leopard-Trek for one year, tried a solo breakaway as well, but this attempt was unsuccessful as well and everything thus pointed towards a bunch sprint as usual in the Tour Down Under.

    A big crash in the last kilometer however caused some chaos in the peloton and no less than 29 riders were on the ground, some of whom with important injuries (especially Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) and Frédéric Guesdon (FDJ BigMat) who were taken to the hospital).

    Some sprinters however managed to get around the crash which was caused, according to some people by a spectator on the road and for others by two riders who ran into each other. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) was the first to start the sprint but he didn't count on the brute force of the German André Greipel of the Lotto-Belisol team who won the sprint ahead of the Italian and of Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ BigMat). The wind had quite an impact on the average speed of this stage because instead of the expected less than 4 hours for this stage, it took no less than 4h33'40"!

    The Tour Down Under classifications after the first stage

    The top 10 of the stage 1/ Prospect > Clare

    André GreipelHereunder you'll find the top 10 of the first stage of the Tour Down Under 2012:

    1/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) - 4h33'30"
    2/ Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD)
    3/ Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ BigMat)
    4/ Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    5/ Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan)
    6/ Christopher Sutton (Sky Pro Cycling)
    7/ Jonathan Cantwell (Team Saxo Bank)
    8/ Xavier Florencio (Katusha)
    9/ Mark Renshaw (Rabobank)
    10/ Manuel Belletti (AG2R La Mondiale)

    The general classification

    André GreipelThanks to the bonus seconds, André Greipel is not only at the first place of the general classification but also has a 4 seconds lead on Petacchi and Kohler is 3rd because he won the two intermediate sprints.

    1/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) - 4h33'30"
    2/ Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) - +0'04"
    3/ Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team)
    4/ Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ BigMat) - +0'06"
    5/ Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia) - +0'07"

    King of the Mountain classification

    After only one climb, the King of the Mountain classification is as follows:

    1/ Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 3 points
    2/ Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team) - 2 points
    3/ Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia) - 1 point

    Sprinters classification

    For the sprinters the top 5 of the classification after the first stage is as follows:

    1/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) - 15 points
    2/ Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) - 14 points
    3/ Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ BigMat) - 13 points
    4/ Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Cannondale) - 12 points
    5/ Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) - 11 points

    The video of stage 1/ Prospect > Clare of the Tour Down Under 2012

    Hereunder you'll find the video of the last kilometers of this stage:

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour Down Under| Tour Down Under 2012 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 3 comments!
  1. http://www.les-actus-du-cyclisme.fr/article-andre-greipel-enchaine-et-prend-la-victoire-dans-la-1-ere-etape-du-tour-down-under-2012-97306134.html

    | Roland TISSIER | tuesday 17 January 2012 at 16:06:20

  2. Notons la possible fin de carrière pour Frédéric Guesdon avec cette lourde chute, malheureusement :/ Jolie remontée de Greipel qui a failli être embarqué sous le kilomètre dans cette chute.

    Par contre, c'est vraiment un spectateur qui provoque cette chute? Sur la vidéo, je n'arrive pas bien à cerner, j'ai la sensation que c'est dû à un contact entre vélos. Peut être un mouvement de vague pour éviter les familles sur le côté?

    | Mrmoving | wednesday 18 January 2012 at 7:34:23

  3. @Mrmoving : non, effectivement, les premières informations parlaient d'un spectateur à l'origine de la chute, mais ce n'était pas ça ! En effet, comme on le voit assez bien dans la vidéo à environ 30 secondes, ce sont en fait deux coureurs qui se sont accrochés et qui ont été à l'origine de la chute d'une petite trentaine de coureurs.
    C'est ensuite qu'il y a eu un accrochage avec une spectatrice qui a une fracture du pied si je ne me trompe pas, mais rien de bien grave ... Elle n'y était pour rien ! C'était probablement simplement dû à de la nervosité, à la haute vitesse et au fait que le final était en léger descente ...

    | Thomas Vergouwen | wednesday 18 January 2012 at 23:00:02

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