On Australia Day, the Australian national holiday, the Tour Down Under finished with a circuit through the streets of Adelaide today. The riders had to cover 18 laps of 4,75 kilometers, good for 85,5 kilometers in total. At the end André Greipel was the fastest. The sprint got set up again by a strong Lotto Belisol squad.
Train on the rails
Maxim Belkov, Julien Bérard and William Clarke formed a breakaway in the third lap. They never got more than a 1'45" lead. Stig Broeckx helped to keep the escape under control. Before entering the penultimate lap it was over for them. Orica GreenEdge set the pace in the peloton to bring GC leader Simon Gerrans safely into the last three kilometers. In the final lap Lotto Belisol came to the front. The sprint train stood on the rails perfectly again and Greipel finished it off convincingly. It's his sixteenth stage win ever at the Tour Down Under, the second one this year. Jürgen Roelandts, the last man before Greipel, became eighth. Mark Renshaw and Andrew Fenn completed the top three.
Top 10 and KOM jersey for Hansen
Lotto Belisol has even more reason to celebrate. Adam Hansen, who finished fourth in stage three, ends the race in his home country as 9th at 37" of overall winner Simon Gerrans. In the final Hansen had a puncture, but he was placed in the same time as the first group. The Aussie can go home with the KOM jersey. He put it on after the first stage and didn't let go of it anymore.
Strong start of the season
In the opening stage André Greipel got second on a sloping finish in Angaston behind Simon Gerrans. The team took the first victory of the season in stage four thanks to the win of André Greipel who completed the work of the sprint train. Jürgen Roelandts even became second. Today a second victory was added. The Tour Down Under, a WorldTour race, has turned out to be a good start of the season!
André Greipel: "It was really good teamwork today. I actually didn't need to do anything until the last two hundred meters, the guys took care of the rest. It was pretty hard to stay together on the circuit. Adam Hansen had a puncture in the last lap so we had to wait as long as possible to move to the front. Marcel Sieberg took the responsibility then to set up the lead-out train with 1,2 kilometers to go, that was the right decision. We had a lot of horsepower in the final kilometer."
"I'm really happy with this second victory, it gives confidence. Staying healthy is the main goal, the rest will come. I'm super happy with my teammates, everybody had his part in the victory. This was a successful Tour Down Under for us. We have Hansen in the top ten and he also took the mountain jersey, so it has been a nice week. It's a strength of this team that we all help each other, that's what counts."