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Tour Down Under: Stage 1 – Columbia-HTC Shows It Still Owns the Sprint

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2010 Santos Tour Down Under – Stage 1: Columbia-HTC used Team Sky’s win in Sunday’s crit as motivation to revamp their sprint strategy and show they’re still the team to beat when it comes down to a race for the line.

Andre Greipel put two bike lengths between him and second place finisher Gert Steegmans (RadioShack), stopping the clock on today’s  133 km stage at 3:15:30.  They were followed by Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Danilo Wyss (BMC) and Greg Henderson (Sky).  George Hincapie wasn’t too far behind in 12th, and Lance Armstrong finished in the main pack in 46th place. Cadel Evans, who’s said he’s content to lay low during the race, finished 50th despite breaking his shoe inside the first 300m of today’s stage.  The first 84 riders all finished with the same time.

Defending TDU champ Allan Davis (Astana) didn’t get off to a good start, rolling across the line 8:22 down in 96th position.  On the biggest breakaway of the day, a trio of riders amassed as much as a 9:45 lead over the peloton, among them Trek-Livestrong’s Tim Roe (riding for UniSa-Australia-AIS) showed his climbing chops up Mengler’s, the days only real climb at 8.9%, giving him the climber’s jersey at the end of the day.  By 20km from the finish, though, the pack had the three riders in their sights and would soon catch them.

Catch the half-hour recap on Versus tonight at 6pm EST, and slip past the break for full stage results and quotes from riders and team managers…

Photo by Graham Watson, check out his full gallery from today’s stage here.

LANCE ARMSTRONG:

“I won’t come out and play in the break today,” Armstrong said before today’s stage opener. “I feel better, feel stronger, I’m also a little lighter than a year ago.”

Regarding the overall, he says the race is likely to be won by a sprinter: “It’s awfully hard with these particular stages to make up time. All I want to do is to stay out of trouble, no crashes, no injuries and no illnesses.

“This is a good start, the weather is obviously beautiful, the fans are great, the roads are safe, it’s good to be here.”

JOHAN BRUYNEEL:

Regarding his team’s ability to line up for a sprint: “I think this week is very interesting on how to try out different things (in a sprint situation), and how to do it and how not to do it,”

GERT STEEGMANS:

“This is a team for the Grand Tours, so they’re not used to doing the sprints. But still they put a lot of effort in me for pulling the sprint, so that’s given me a lot of confidence and hopefully tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we’re going to do it perfectly.”

2010 SANTOS TOUR DOWN UNDER – STAGE 1 RESULTS:

1.  GREIPEL Andre THR 3.15’30”
2.  STEEGMANS Gert RSH
3.  ROELANDTS Jurgen OTO
4.  WYSS Danilo BMC
5.  HENDERSON Greg SKY
6.  COOKE Baden SAX
7.  BROWN Graeme RAB
8.  McEWEN Robbie KAT
9.  ROJAS Jose GCE
10.  DMITRIYEV Valeriy AST
11.  MANDRI René ALM
12.  HINCAPIE George BMC
13.  HUNTER Robbie GRM
14.  MAES Nikolas QST
15.  IZAGIRRE Gorka EUS
16.  PEREZ ARRIETA Aitor FOT
17.  ROHREGGER Thomas MRM
18.  ELMIGER Martin ALM
19.  KRIVTSOV Yuriy ALM
20.  ROBERTS Luke MRM
21.  VELASCO Ivan EUS
22.  VICHOT Arthur FDJ
23.  GUARNIERI Jacopo LIQ
24.  JUFRE POU Josep AST
25.  SUTTON Christopher SKY
26.  VORGANOV Eduard KAT
27.  GRIVKO Andriy AST
28.  MATTHEWS Michael AUS
29.  STANGELJ Gorazd AST
30.  CLEMENT Stef RAB
31.  SABATINI Fabio LIQ
32.  WEENING Pieter RAB
33.  ROUX Anthony FDJ
34.  VAN DE WALLE Jurgen QST
35.  MEYER Cameron GRM
36.  VALVERDE Alejandro GCE
37.  DRUJON Mathieu GCE
38.  SANCHEZ Luis Leon GCE
39.  MEIER Christian GRM
40.  HOJ Frank SAX
41.  ENGELS Addy QST
42.  FREI Thomas BMC
43.  PERGET Mathieu GCE
44.  GUTIERREZ Ivan GCE
45.  MOERENHOUT Koos RAB
46.  ARMSTRONG Lance RSH
47.  BENITEZ ROMAN Jose Alberto FOT
48.  HAYMAN Mathew SKY
49.  VOIGT Jens SAX
50.  EVANS Cadel BMC
51.  NIEVE Mikel EUS
52.  SANTAMBROGIO Mauro BMC
53.  FINETTO Mauro LIQ
54.  VAN EMDEN Jos RAB
55.  VANDENBERGH Stijn KAT
56.  PEREIRO Oscar AST
57.  O’GRADY Stuart SAX
58.  FOTHEN Markus MRM
59.  SULZBERGER Wesley FDJ
60.  DESSEL Cyril ALM
61.  TURPIN Ludovic ALM
62.  LUND Anders SAX
63.  SICARD Romain EUS
64.  ROE Timothy AUS
65.  PINOT Thibaut FDJ
66.  KADRI Biel ALM
67.  McDONALD Peter AUS
68.  KOHLER Martin BMC
69.  LOWE Trent GRM
70.  WILSON Matthew GRM
71.  HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesus AST
72.  EISEL Bernhard THR
73.  DALL’ANTIONIA Tiziano LIQ
74.  ROGERS Michael THR
75.  DEAN Julian GRM
76.  PEDERSEN Martin FOT
77.  KLIMOV Serguei KAT
78.  LLOYD Matthew OTO
79.  DENNIS Rohan AUS
80.  ROULSTON Hayden THR
81.  SAGAN Peter LIQ
82.  IMPEY Daryl RSH
83.  RIPOLL HORRACH Juan KAT
84.  VAITKUS Tomas RSH
85.  SIEBERG Marcel THR 3.15’41” +11″
86.  POPOVYCH Yaroslav RSH 3.15’43” +13″
87.  ROSSELER Sebastien RSH
88.  VIGANO Davide SKY 3.16’04” +34″
89.  BOBRIDGE Jack GRM 3.17’08” +1’38”
90.  GOSS Matthew THR
91.  FROOME Christopher* SKY 3.18’28” +2’58”
92.  PATERSKI Maciej LIQ 3.21’52” +6’22”
93.  MINGUEZ Miguel EUS 3.23’52” +8’22”
94.  SESMA Daniel EUS
95.  LJUNGBLAD Jonas OTO
96. DAVIS Allan AST
97.  CASTROVIEJO Jonathan EUS
98.  CANTWELL Jonathan AUS
99.  KVIST Thomas Vedel QST
100. KEMP David AUS
101.  CARDOSO Manuel FOT
102. GUTIERREZ David FOT
103.  DOWNING Russell SKY
104.  GRABSCH Bert THR
105.  FORSTER Robert MRM
106.  KOREN Kristijan LIQ
107.  SCHRODER Björn MRM
108.  VAN GOOLEN Jurgen OTO
109.  SWIFT Ben SKY
110.  HUTAROVICH Yauheni FDJ
111.  RAVARD Anthony ALM
112.  CLARKE Simon AUS
113.  DELAGE Mickael OTO
114.  CHEREL Mikael FDJ
115.  CAZAUX Pierre FDJ
116.  GALIMZYANOV Denis KAT
117.  PLIUSCHIN Alexandr KAT
118.  MERLO Michele FOT
119.  FACCI Mauro QST
120.  VITORIA David FOT
121.  GARCIA Jose GCE
122.  STROETINGA Wim MRM
123.  FLENS Rick RAB
124.  VAN IMPE Kevin QST
125.  KAISEN Olivier OTO
126.  LOWIK Gerben OTO
127.  LEEZER Thomas RAB
128.  KLOSTERGAARD Kasper SAX
129.  HAEDO Juan Jose SAX
130.  McCARTNEY Jason RSH
131.  KROON Karsten BMC
132.  ROELS Dominik MRM 3.26’13” +10’43”

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