First race, first win for Britain's Team Sky
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

First race, first win for Sky

by Bjorn Haake at 4:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour Down Under
 

Click for larger imageTeam Sky had an immaculate start to its existence with a double victory in the Cancer Council Helpline Classic on Sunday. Greg Henderson narrowly beat teammate Chris Sutton. The two were ahead of André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) and Robbie McEwen (Katusha). The race was a warmup for the Tour Down Under, which starts on Tuesday.

Henderson summed up the team's day. "It doesn't get any better," he said to AFP. "We were joking about it in the room; we said the best way that Team Sky could put themselves on the map is the very, very first race we get together we end up winning the bike race.

"That happened tonight, it was just unbelievable. The lead-out was so fast, I don't think I've been on the back of anything faster. In the end my job was pretty easy. What an amazing feeling," Henderson said.

The average speed was over 47 kilometers per hour. Johan Bruyneel posted a picture of the speedometer from one of his Radio Shack riders, which showed a maximum of 71 km/h. "This was not on a downhill," Bruyneel said.

Third-placed Greipel was happy to be back in 'his' race, which he won in 2008 thanks to four out of six stage wins (plus the opening race, which does not count towards the overall). He has not so good memories on the 2009 edition, when he collided with a police motorbike. A four-month recovery followed to allow his shoulder to heal.

Greipel did not look back in anger too much. "It's a part of sport. Okay, it was a bit bad luck that a motorbike was standing there," he said. "But, anyway, I had really good surgery. Everything is fine, I have no pain at all. I don't think about the crash any more."

Greipel showed he is back near the front and he will be one of the favorites to win the overall. So is Allan Davis, who was taken out by Greipel's crash 12 months ago as well, but fought on to win the overall in 2009. Davis finished seventh today.

Davis had a good feeling before the start about one of his new Astana teammates. "Oscar Pereiro, I don't have to state what he can do. He's in pretty good shape and I think he's a key rider for me and the team. I'm definitely on par with the sort of team I had last year with Quick Step."

Pereiro showed his worth mid-way through the race, when he went into a break royale together with Lance Armstrong. Their effort was over with three laps to go on the 1.7km circuit. The riders had to complete 30 laps for a total distance of 51 kilometers.

Armstrong was happy with his first race in the new year. "I felt better than last year," he said.

Results

1. Gregory Henderson      1h04'33
2. Christopher Sutton
3. Andre Greipel
4. Robbie McEwen
5. Baden Cooke
6. Graeme Brown
7. Allan Davis
8. Jose Rojas
9. Anthony Ravard
10. Manuel Cardoso
11. Juan Jose Haedo
12. Mathew Goss
13. Daryl Impey
14. Jonathan Cantwell
15. George Hincapie
16. Tomas Vaitkus
17. Denis Galimzyanov
18. Gert Steegmans
19. Yauheni Hutarovich
20. René Mandri
21. Robbie Hunter
22. Jurgen Roelandts
23. Wim Stroetinga
24. Robert Foester
25. Yuriy Krivtsov
26. Ivan Velasco
27. Peter Sagan
28. Gorka Izaguirre
29. Maciej Paterski
30. Sebastien Rosseler
31. Benjamin Swift
32. Valeriy Dmitriyev
33. Mauro Santambrogio
34. Fabio Sabatini
35. Jonas Ljungblad
36. Mathieu Drujon
37. Stuart O'grady
38. Bernard Eisel
39. Cameron Meyer                0'8
40. Josep Jufre Pou
41. David Gutierrez
42. Ivan Gutierrez
43. Bert Grabsch
44. Michael Rogers
45. Pierre Cazaux
46. Frank Hoj
47. Stijn Vandenbergh
48. Gorazd Stangelj
49. Yaroslav Popovych
50. Mickael Delage
51. Rick Flens
52. Romain Sicard
53. Eduard Vorganov
54. Mikel Nieve
55. Alejandro Valverde
56. Luis Leon Sanchez
57. Gerben Lowik
58. Wesley Sulzberger
59. Nikolas Maes
60. Aitor Perez Arrieta
61. Peter Mcdonald
62. Lance Armstrong
63. Jose Benitez Roman
64. Martin Kohler
65. Olivier Kaisen
66. Kristjan Koren
67. Christian Meier
68. Andriy Grivko
69. Thomas Vedel Kvist
70. Kasper Klostergaard
71. Ludovic Turpin
72. Mauro Finetto                   0'16
73. Anthony Roux                   0'17
74. Michele Merlo
75. Marcel Sieberg
76. Luke Roberts
77. Thomas Frei                    0'23
78. Evans Cadel
79. Thibaut Pinot

 

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