HTC-Columbia's André Greipel takes Tour Down Under overall, while Team Sky's Chirs Sutton wins final stage
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Greipel takes overall, while Team Sky's Sutton wins stage

by Steve Jones at 1:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour Down Under
 

Click for a larger image...HTC-Columbia sprinter André Greipel sealed up his second overall victory in the Santos Tour Down Under today, with Team Sky reversing the order of last Sunday's warm-up event on today's criterium course, with Chris Sutton winning the stage and teammate Greg Henderson finishing second. Australian Graeme Brown (Rabobank) edged out compatriot Robbie McEwen (Katusha) for third.

Sutton told SBS TV afterwards: "I can't believe it. It's all about teamwork. We took control with about 2k's to go. I just kicked and went for it. I just went as long as I could and if Greg went around me, he went around me, but we just went 1-2, it was incredible."

Overall winner Greipel came back to the race this year after failing to defend his 2008 title when he was involved in a horrific crash. The German injured his shoulder when he ploughed into a parked police motorcycle, forcing him to retire from the race. As a result, he required shoulder surgery and four months of rehabilitation which wiped out the first half of his 2009 season. He came back incredibly strong though, racking up twenty wins including four stage wins and the Points Competition in the Vuelta a España.

With his victory today, Greipel joins Australian Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) as one of two multiple winners of the Santos Tour Down Under. O'Grady won the race in 1999 and 2001.

"I'm really happy, and for the team as well," Greipel said after the race. "The team did a really good job this last week. I'm just really happy."

The German's three stage wins on his way to securing the overall were enough for the big sprinter to lock up the points classification.  Team Milram's Thomas Rohregger started off the year well for his team by winning the mountain classification, and Alejandro Valverde's Cassie d'Epargne squad took home the team competition.

The race also saw the debut of Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team and the British Team Sky, with the latter showing their strength by bookending the event with victories. Armstrong himself showed good form in the race. This is the second consecutive year the American used the Tour Down Under to begin his build up for an attempt at an eighth Tour de France crown. RadioShack sprinter Gert Steegmans showed promise finishing second to Greipel on the first stage, but after having to sit most of the 2009 season out, wasn't quite strong enough to lead the team to its first win.

Adelaide City Council Stage 6 results:

1. Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky 1-53.20 hrs
2. Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Sky
3. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha
5. André Greipel (Ger) HTC Columbia
6. Allan Davis (Aus) Astana
7. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC Columbia
8. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR) Française des Jeux
9. Gert Steegmans (Bel) RadioShack
10. Jose Rojas (Esp) Caisse d'Epargne all at same time

Final Tour Down Under General Classification:

1: Andre Greipel (THR) 18hr47min05",
2:Luis Leon Sanchez (GCE)@11",
3:Greg Henderson (SKY)@15",
4:Robbie McEwen (KAT)@17",
5:Luke Roberts (MRM)@17",
6Cadel Evans (BMC)@21",
7:Eduard Vorganov (KAT)@25",
8;Jurgen Roelandts (OTO)@26",
9:Robbie Hunter (GRM) @26",
10:Markus Fothen (MRM)@26".

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