Dubbed on his team as “the strongest man on earth”, André Greipel showed his strength early in the 2010 Tour Down Under as he led Team HTC-Columbia to the 88-mile first stage win, while Lance Armstrong finished “a pretty uneventful day” riding among the bunch, as he called it.
Greipel, who dominated the Tour Down Under last 2008 with five stage wins overall, left 132 other riders in the dust as he sprinted across the finish line in Tanunda last Tuesday.
The star of the HTC-Columbia team was a favorite to win the Cancer Council Helpline Classic last Sunday, but was forced to watch Team Sky take the victory as Greg Henderson and Chris Sutton scored a 1-2 combo for Team Sky.
However, the lead-out train for HTC-Columbia was in full effect last Tuesday as Hayden Roulston, Mat Goss and Michael Rogers helped their star get into perfect position, and Andre did not disappoint.
Gert Steegmans of Team RadioShack garnered a second-place finish, while Jurgen Roelandts of Omega Pharma Lotto secured a podium place at third. Meanwhile, Greg Henderson of Team Sky showed that he is firmly in competitive form as he grabbed the fifth spot.
The 2009 Tour Down Under champion Allan Davis of Team Astana, however, had to suffer a disappointing end to the stage when he lost around 8 minutes and see his hopes of defending his crown melt away.