Tour Down Under: First strike to Gerrans


Defending champion Simon Gerrans beats Andre Griepel to the win on stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under to pull on the leader’s jersey on the stage into Angaston. 

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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.


Australian Orica-GreenEDGE rider Simon Gerrans wins the sprint over André Greipel  (Lotto-Belisol) and Australian Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp). Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 

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.

“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.”


The Santos Ochre Leader’s jersey belongs to Australian Orica-GreenEDGE rider Simon Gerrans. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 

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).


Australian Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE )on the front of the peloton. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 

“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.


Australia’s 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) . Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 

“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.


The 2 man breakaway Drapac rider William Clarke and UniSA-Australia Neil Van Der Ploeg. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 

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.”

Tomorrow the race contests the Stage 2, a 150 kilometre route from Prospect, through the Adelaide Hills to the finish in Stirling. The stage includes two Adam Internet intermediate sprints, the first at One Tree Hill (26km) and the second at Balhannah (84km). In between are two Skoda King of the Mountain Category two climbs, the first at Golden Grive (35km) has a gradient of almost 10 percent and the second at 56 kilometres into the stage will take the riders up the 13 percent gradient Checker Hill.


Skoda King of the Mountain leader Lotto Belisol’s Adam Hansen. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 

Classification Results

Santos Ochre Leader – Simon Gerrans (AUS | Orica-GreenEDGE)
Adam Internet Sprint Leader – Simon Gerrans (AUS | Orica-GreenEDGE) [but it will be worn by second ranked in the classification Andre Greipel (GER | Lotto-Belisol) for stage 2]
Skoda King of the Mountain leader – Adam Hansen (AUS | Lotto-Belisol)
Cycle Instead Young Rider leader – Carlos Quintanilla Verona (ESP | Omega Pharma – QuickStep)
Europcar Most Competitive Rider – Will Clarke (AUS | Drapac)
Hindmarsh Leading Team – Lampre-Merida


Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo 


1 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE 03:20:34
2 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team
3 VON HOFF Steele Garmin – Sharp
4 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida
5 BOUET Maxime AG2R La Mondiale
6 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team
7 GESCHKE Simon Team Giant-Shimano
8 VALLS FERRI Rafael Lampre – Merida
9 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team
10 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team
11 THOMAS Geraint Team Sky
12 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team 00:04
13 HAAS Nathan Garmin – Sharp
14 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE
15 VERONA QUINTANILLA Carlos Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
16 SUTHERLAND Rory Tinkoff-Saxo
17 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team
18 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing
19 PLAZA MOLINA Rubén Movistar Team
20 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
21 BENNETT George Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
22 TULIK Angelo Team Europcar
23 AGNOLI Valerio Astana Pro Team
24 SULZBERGER Wesley Drapac Professional Cycling
25 LAPTHORNE Darren Drapac Professional Cycling
26 DEIGNAN Philip Team Sky
27 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE
28 HERMANS Ben BMC Racing Team
29 PORTE Richie Team Sky
30 DIDIER Laurent Trek Factory Racing
31 ELISSONDE Kenny Equipe Cycliste
32 JUUL-JENSEN Christopher Tinkoff-Saxo
33 WESTRA Lieuwe Astana Pro Team
34 WURF Cameron Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
35 SULZBERGER Bernard Drapac Professional Cycling
36 WACKERMANN Luca Lampre – Merida
37 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team
38 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team
39 QUEMENEUR Perrig Team Europcar
40 VAN POPPEL Danny Trek Factory Racing
41 DOMONT Axel AG2R La Mondiale
42 PAUWELS Serge Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
43 HUCKER Robbie Drapac Professional Cycling
44 BAKELANTS Jan Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
45 GIACOPPO Anthony UniSA-Australia
46 BROECKX Stig Lotto Belisol Team
47 ZABEL Rick BMC Racing Team
48 O’ BRIEN Mark UniSA-Australia
49 BERARD Julien AG2R La Mondiale
50 FAIRLY Caleb Garmin – Sharp
51 DEBUSSCHERE Jens Lotto Belisol Team
52 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE
53 VORGANOV Eduard Team Katusha
54 LECUISINIER Pierre-Henri Equipe Cycliste
55 ROUX Anthony Equipe Cycliste
56 WYSS Danilo BMC Racing Team
57 THURAU Bjorn Team Europcar
58 GRIVKO Andriy Astana Pro Team
59 SILIN Egor Team Katusha
60 HAIG Jack UniSA-Australia
61 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol Team
62 EARLE Nathan Team Sky
63 DENNIS Rohan Garmin – Sharp
64 MORTON Lachlan Garmin – Sharp
65 VOIGT Jens Trek Factory Racing
66 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team
67 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar
68 MORENO BAZAN Javier Movistar Team
69 ROJAS GIL José Joaquin Movistar Team
70 CANTWELL Jonathan Drapac Professional Cycling 02:21
71 MEYER Travis Drapac Professional Cycling
72 MOHORIC Matej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
73 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida
74 HUPOND Thierry Team Giant-Shimano
75 KOCHETKOV Pavel Team Katusha
76 RENSHAW Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
77 VEIKKANEN Jussi Equipe Cycliste
78 VAN POPPEL Boy Trek Factory Racing
79 TURGOT Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale
80 ARNDT Nikias Team Giant-Shimano
81 BONNET William Equipe Cycliste
82 BELKOV Maxim Team Katusha
83 SOUPE Geoffrey Equipe Cycliste
84 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
85 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
86 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
87 BOIVIN Guillaume Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
88 BONNAFOND Guillaume AG2R La Mondiale
89 BAUER Jack Garmin – Sharp
90 COURTEILLE Arnaud Equipe Cycliste
91 DEKKER Thomas Garmin – Sharp
92 SøRENSEN Nicki Tinkoff-Saxo
93 REZA Kevin Team Europcar
94 STANNARD Ian Team Sky
95 EWAN Caleb UniSA-Australia
96 KOLAR Michael Tinkoff-Saxo 03:53
97 TRUSOV Nikolay Tinkoff-Saxo
98 FELLINE Fabio Trek Factory Racing
99 DE KORT Koen Team Giant-Shimano
100 CLEMENT Stef Belkin Pro Cycling Team 03:57
101 BOBRIDGE Jack Belkin Pro Cycling Team
102 LINFIELD Bradley UniSA-Australia
103 COUSIN Jérôme Team Europcar
104 GUTIéRREZ PALACIOS Jose Iván Movistar Team
105 WATSON Calvin Trek Factory Racing
106 IGNATYEV Mikhail Team Katusha
107 KRIZEK Matthias Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
108 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team
109 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Giant-Shimano
110 PORSEV Alexander Team Katusha
111 HUFFMAN Evan Astana Pro Team
112 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team
113 VALGREN ANDERSEN Michael Tinkoff-Saxo
114 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team
115 HALLER Marco Team Katusha
116 GUARNIERI Jacopo Astana Pro Team 05:53
117 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Movistar Team 06:55
118 HAYMAN Mathew Orica GreenEDGE 08:08
119 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE
120 EISEL Bernhard Team Sky
121 DURBRIDGE Luke Orica GreenEDGE
122 ROWE Luke Team Sky
123 MCCARTHY Jay Tinkoff-Saxo
124 KAISEN Olivier Lotto Belisol Team
125 FLAKEMORE Campbell UniSA-Australia
126 VAN DER PLOEG Neil UniSA-Australia
127 BETTIOL Alberto Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
128 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida
129 BONO Matteo Lampre – Merida
130 BROWN Graeme Belkin Pro Cycling Team
131 GAUDIN Damien AG2R La Mondiale
132 DANIEL Maxime AG2R La Mondiale
133 CLARKE William Drapac Professional Cycling
134 KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano
135 PETERSON Tom Team Giant-Shimano
136 FLENS Rick Belkin Pro Cycling Team
137 CIMOLAI Davide Lampre – Merida
138 TANNER David Belkin Pro Cycling Team 12:40


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