Greipel wins in Down Under
ADELAIDE, Australia - The Associated Press
Two-time Tour Down Under winner Greipel wins the first stage of the Tour Down Under, which was marred by crashes, crosswinds and high temperatures. The first event of cycling’s World Tour, Tour Down Under is held over six stages until Jan 22. AFP photoTwo-time champion Andre Greipel of Germany overcame fierce crosswinds, soaring temperatures and a late crash that sent three riders and a spectator to hospital to win the first stage on the Tour Down Under yesterday.
Greipel beat Alessandro Petacchi of Italy narrowly in a sprint finish in temperatures of 39 degrees Celsius to claim his ninth stage victory in the six-stage race, the opening event of the UCI World Tour.
The sprint ace also won the tour’s criterium prelude on Jan. 14 for the Belgium-based Lotto-Belisol team. He won the Tour Down Under in 2008 and 2010.
Petacchi took second place yesterday for the Lampre-ISD team while Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus was third and Fabio Sabatini of Italy fourth.
Greipel avoided a late crash involving up to 60 riders.
“I’m lucky I won today,” Greipel said. “There was a massive crash with 800 meters to go.”
Greipel’s teammate Jurgen Roelandts was the worst injured of the riders to fall, injuring his neck.