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Simon Gerrans beats André Greipel in the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under

Added: tuesday 21 January 2014 at 11:14:00
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    Simon Gerrans beats André Greipel in the first stage of the Santos Tour Down UnderThe first stage of the Tour Down Under 2014 took place between Nuriootpa and Angaston and this stage on a circuit ended in a sprint, with the stage victory for Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE). The rider who freshly became the Australian champion again (he already took that title in 2012) has already won the overall classification of the Tour Down Under twice, in 2006 and in 2012.

    The summary of the 1st stage of the Tour Down Under 2014: Nuriootpa > Angaston

    138 riders took the start today in Nuriootpa, north of Adelaide. As you might have read in the summary of the People's Choice Classic, Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar Team) have been the victim of crashes, one during training and the other one in the race, thus preventing them from participating in this first UCI WorldTour race of the season. Since Sunday, Chris Sutton (Team Sky) was added to this list because he also crashed during the People's Choice Classic and he broke his wrist. Sutton's place was taken by Nathan Earle but the two other riders have not been replaced, which explains the number of riders being 138 instead of 140.

    After 2 kilometers the first attack in this Tour Down Under came, almost as usual from a rider of the UniSA Australi team, Neil van der Ploeg, and he was joined by Will Clarke (Drapac Professional Cycling). This leading duo rapidly created a gap, up to 3'35" after 24 kilometers.

    At the first crossing of the finish line, after a bit over 36 kilometers in the race, this gap stabilised around 3'20" and even though it briefly went under 3 minutes, the gap was again above 3 minutes, at 3'10", at the second crossing of the finish line. Mainly thanks to the work of the Lotto-Belisol and Orica-GreenEDGE teams, the peloton progressively came back on the leading duo and when he was about to be taken back, Will Clarke attacked once more, without much hope but this prolonging for a few kilometers his time at the head of the race.

    Before they arrive on the climb Menglers Hill the Australian rider was however taken back and after a failed attempt by Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol), it was finally Yukiya Arashiro and Björn Thurau (Team Europcar) who managed to get away from the peloton in this climb and in the descent and getting closer to the finish, this duo kept the lead.

    At less than two kilometers from the finish, Björn Thurau decided to attack but the Lotto-Belisol sprint train chased back the rider of the Europcar team and he was thus taken back at 700 meters from the finish. The bunch sprint was then started with successive attacks by Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo), André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and finally Simon Gerrans who managed to beat the German rider to take the victory in this first stage.

    The result of the 1st stage of the Tour Down Under 2014

    Here's the top 10 of this first stage:

    1/ Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) - 3h20'34"
    2/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
    3/ Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp)
    4/ Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida)
    5/ Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale)
    6/ Francesco Gavazzi (Astana)
    7/ Simon Geschke (Team Giant-Shimano)
    8/ Rafael Valls Ferri (Lampre-Merida)
    9/ Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team)
    10/ Robert Gesink (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)

    The video of the finish of the first stage of the Tour Down Under 2014

    Below you can find the video of the finish of the first stage of the Tour Down Under 2014, with Simon Gerrans' reaction:


    source photo illustration of this article: © John Veage - Santos Tour Down Under

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour Down Under| Tour Down Under 2014 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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