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Tour Down Under 2008 - Stage 6
 
By Staff
Date: 1/27/2008
Tour Down Under 2008 - Stage 6
 

Tour Down Under 2008 - Stage 6
Andre Griepel had the fastest legs in Adelaide for his 4th win, G.C. Victory and ProTour leaders Jersey. Team High Road makes a strong entry in the record books for 2008!

It was fitting that the most dominant rider over the past week in Australia took the final stage of this year’s Tour Down Under as well as the overall victory. Since winning the Down Under Classic last weekend, it has been clear that Andre Greipel (Team High Road) is arguably in the form of his career. His slender lead in the G.C did not weaken his resolve; by the stage finish he had increased his margin by virtue of maximum points in two out of three of the Intermediate Sprints placed throughout the final stage.

Afterwards, he stated that his next aim is the Paris-Nice stage race, which traditionally has a number of sprint finishes. Sadly, he may have lost the right to wear the jersey by then, but right now Griepel is leader of the Pro Tour series.

The circuit was dead flat throughout, which was a contributing factor to the race speed of 47.4km/h. The UniSA- Australia team, who were attempting to set up Allan Davis for the race win, carried out most of the initial work at the front of the peloton. They had to ensure no-one broke free and take the time bonuses at the sprint points - their work paid off when Davis took the first prime on lap five. Griepel was not in the top three (he actually felt that the UniSA riders had obstructed him, something the Race Officials did not agree with), and Davis was within four seconds of the race lead.

Spurred on by the threatening Davis, Griepel used the work carried out by Team CSC (possibly for Stuart O’Grady) to take the second sprint of the day. Davis trailed him, meaning that the Australian would have to take the stage and the High Road rider lose seconds for the overall honours to slip from Griepel’s hands.

With twenty-five kilometres remaining, a five man group went clear. Containing no overall favourites, they were allowed freedom to ride at the head of the race for three laps. With just under 15km of the stage remaining, the group – containing two Caisse D'Epargne riders in Nicolas Portal and Luis Leon Sanchez, as well as Wim Vansevenant (Silence - Lotto), Koen De Kort (Astana) and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre) – were reeled in by the peloton, lead jointly by CSC and UniSA – Australia.

The sprinters were now poised, many tracking the wheel of Griepel. Team High Road lead into the final kilometre, but it was Rabobank’s Graeme Brown who started the sprint. Robert Forster passed Brown in the final few metres, but such was Griepel’s strength he beat both of them; the Gerolsteiner rider trailed half-a-wheel.

Rider Comments
Allan Davis

"I couldn’t have done anything more," said Davis. "I said before (the stage) I’d go down fighting, no matter what and I won the first sprint, put everything into it … put everything into the second sprint, was up there second again, not far behind Greipel. " I felt good enough to actually roll him so I was hoping everything was going well for the last sprint," Davis explained. "I hit the front 200m to go in the bike race, chance to win (but) Andre was too good once again.

"As soon as I saw him go past me, that was it, the stage and tour," said Davis. "But I crossed the line knowing I couldn’t have done one more centimetre harder than what I did and to the UniSA guys, every one of them, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it has been an honour and a privilege riding with you boys this week.  "Not only today, all week, you’ve worked so well, Dave Sanders, the soigneurs and mechanics, we been put together in a world class cycling event and we’ve nearly pulled it off," said Davis of the national team line up given special permission to race in the ProTour event. "It’s been so professional, so I’d like to thank the guys from the bottom of my heart."

The final post-race comment went to Griepel, who simply stated ‘the best rider won’.

Tour Down Under Jerseys
Greipel also claimed overall honours in the 'SA Lotteries' Sprint Classification while Franciase des Jeux rider Philippe Gilbert (BEL) was awarded the 'South Australia - A Brilliant Blend' King of the Mountain title.
Allan Davis was named the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive rider for Stage 6.
The 'Share the Road' Best Young Rider (U25) went to Spaniard Jose Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) who finished third on the overall classification, 33 seconds off the winning time of Greipel.
The Bartercard Winning Team was awarded to Francaise des Jeux on a count back. Stuart O'Grady was presented with the 'Tanya Denver Memorial Award' as the highest placed South Australian for his tenth place overall.

Crowd attendance at the 2008 Tour Down Under and Down Under Classic topped half a million for the first time since the event began in 1999. The official spectator estimate for 2008 was 533,000.

Team CSC Comments
O'Grady Finished in Top-10
Team CSC worked hard during the final stage of Tour Down Under in Adelaide City to get Stuart O'Grady among the top-10 and the mission was accomplished. "We were more or less up front during the entire stage in order to get Stuart the bonus seconds he needed and of course also to make the stage more interesting," said sports director Scott Sunderland after the stage.

Andre Greipel (High Road) took another victory and won a comfortable overall victory, but the outcome of the race was also satisfactory for Team CSC.

"As I've said earlier the routes weren't challenging enough to create an exciting race, but under the circumstances I'm very satisfied with the team's efforts down here. We made our mark and I think everyone showed good form considering the time of year. Of course the focus has mainly been on Stuart as this was his comeback after his crash, and his form is very promising with the spring classics in mind," determined Sunderland. The team can look forward to one day's rest before leaving for the States, where the team training camp starts in California next week.

Fast start for Team High Road
Greipel grabs ProTour Lead

25 year old André Greipel dominated the first ProTour stage race of the season continuing a string of success for Team High Road in Australia. Greipel won five stages and the overall title and earned the right to wear the ProTour Leaders Jersey.

Greipel’s victory follows the success of Team High Road's Australian riders at their National Titles in early January when Oenone Wood took the women’s road title and Adam Hansen took the time trial title and the silver medal in the road race. Youngster Alex Rhodes also took a Bronze in the women’s Time Trial.

Also in January in the Northern Hemisphere, Roger Hammond took yet another British Cyclocross National Title and Kim Kirchen was named Athlete of the year in Luxembourg for his stellar performance in 2007.

Greipel, who trained since last fall for this race, credited his teammates Bernard Eisel, Marcus Burghart, Frantisek Rabon and the down under crew Adam Hansen, Scott Davis and Greg Henderson for their exceptional effort and teamwork saying “I’m really proud of this win but it was my teammates who helped me get there. Without them today, this would not have been possible. I was very nervous this morning,” he added. “I have never been in this situation before so I didn’t know how I would react, but my teammates talked to me the whole way and we showed the best reaction.”

Starting with the criterium in Glenelg on Sunday, which acted as a preview to the Tour, Greipel’s speed was very hard to beat. By the end of the penultimate stage, he had sprinted to victory in four stages and moved into the overall lead, taking the leaders jersey going into the final circuit race. He was able to finish the tour with one final stage win and the overall victory. Team Director Allan Piper was extremely pleased with the performance of the team. “We had a week in Australia before the race started and we bonded as a group,” he said. “It showed in the race and especially today. André had been preparing for this race for three months and the other guys were happy to support him. They were all fantastic. They did an awesome job.”

The riders now head to California where they will join the entire 42 person team (29 men and 13 women) for a 15 day training camp in the teams USA base of San Luis Obispo, followed by the team presentation in Palo Alto on the 15th.

“The team is blessed with extraordinary young talent. It's rewarding to see them grow, improve and taste success based on intense focus, teamwork and exceptional effort” said Team Owner Bob Stapleton. “Our young riders were exceptional last year and have the potential to do more this season”, added Stapleton.

Stage 6 – Adelaide City Circuit Results
88km - 1.51.13

1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road in 1.51.13
2 Jan Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto
6 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom
7 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre
8 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia
9 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
10 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step
11 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole
12 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
13 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Csc
14 Martin Muller (Ger) Team Milram
15 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux
16 Heinrich Friederich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
17 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas
18 Pablo Lastras Garci (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
19 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R-La Mondiale
20 Sebastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
21 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank
22 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
23 Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
24 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
25 Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise Des Jeux
26 Erki Putsep (Est) Bouygues Telecom
27 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner
28 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
29 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
30 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
31 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step
32 Christophe Kern (Fra) Credit Agricole
33 Mario Aerts (Bel) Silence-Lotto
34 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto
35 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
36 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
37 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas
38 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
39 Ivan Santaromita Villa (Ita) Liquigas
40 Steve Morabito (Swi) Astana
41 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
42 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas
43 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Quick Step
44 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
45 Jon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
46 Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
47 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
48 Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step
49 Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
50 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana

Points Classification
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 38 pts
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia 34 pts
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole 24 pts

Mountains Classification
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux 38 pts
2 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone 22 pts
3 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne 18 pts

Under 25 Classification
1 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne in 18.46.51
2 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux @ 0.04
3 Richie Porte (Aus) Unisa - Australia @ 0.08

General Classification (Final)
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road in 18.46.18
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia @ 0.15
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne @ 0.33

4 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux @ 0.37
5 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
6 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott @ 0.39
7 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas
8 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne @ 0.41
9 Richie Porte (Aus) Unisa - Australia @ 0.41
10 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Csc @ 0.42
11 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux
12 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas
13 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R-La Mondiale @ 0.43
14 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre
15 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
16 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto
17 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank
18 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
19 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
20 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
21 Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
22 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
23 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
24 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole
25 Mario Aerts (Bel) Silence-Lotto

Team Classification
1 Francaise Des Jeux in 56.21.03
2 Saunier Duval-Scott s.t
3 Caisse D'Epargne s.t

For more information, photo galleries, race routes and results visit the official website at www.tourdownunder.com.au

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