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2010 Santos Tour Down Under - Reactions & Article Index
By Staff
Date: 1/26/2010
2010 Santos Tour Down Under - Reactions & Article Index

2010 Santos Tour Down Under - Wrap Up & Reactions
Comments from the teams after the first ProTour event of the year and parting shots after the Tour Down Under.... Race Coverage Index & Photos

First a quick index/links to Chris Graetz's coverage of the Tour Down Under just in case you missed anything this past week:

12th Santos Tour Down Under
January 18 - 24
Tour Down Under - Course Preview
Tour Down Under - Favorites Preview
2010 Cancer Council Helpline Classic (TDU Prelude)
Stage 1: Clare - Tanunda, 141km
Stage 2: Gawler - Hahndorf, 133.5km
Stage 3: Unley - Stirling, 132.5km
Stage 3: Reactions & Photos
Stage 4: Norwood - Goolwa, 149.5km
Stage 5: Snapper Point - Willunga, 148km
Stage 5 Live: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Stage 5 - Team Reactions & Photos
Stage 6: Adelaide – Adelaide, 60km
Stage 6 Live: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Race Website

Team Reactions:

HTC-Columbia's Andre Greipel
On winning his  second G.C. win of the Tour Down and taking the lead in the UCI standings...

"I'm really happy to win again here and to take the ProTour lead. Of course I would have liked to have won the stage today because the team worked really hard but I am happy with the overall win. It has been a great week. I really like coming here to race. It's a nice way to start the season, especially when you win."

2010 Tour Down Under Victor, Andre Greipel    Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Team Director Allan Peiper was equally pleased...
"It was a fantastic combination of effort and work by everyone in the team who came here," he said. "The whole team arrived two weeks before to get some solid training in for the race and Andre left his 15 day old baby to make sure he was ready. It all paid off with 3 stage wins and the GC. The boys were rock solid and worked really hard the whole week. It was fantastic racing and they were right on top of every critical moment to protect the race lead. We couldn't have asked for a better start to the season."

BMC Racing Team
The  “Red Devils” played a very active role in the final stage which was eventually won by Australian Chris Sutton in a spectacular mass sprint.
The Chief Directeur Sportif John Lelangue and his team traveled to the race with two principle purposes: to unite together as a cohesive group and to make use of every chance to be noticed as a force in the event.

 “We not only achieved but exceeded each goal. During the races and at the hotel, our time in Australia was very well spent and the experience will continue to be very helpful to us,” Lelangue explained. From a sporting point of view, the team united around Cadel Evans and provided quite a few race highlights. First to ignite the team efforts, Martin Kohler joined the most important breakaway of the first stage, and won the lead in the Sprint and Best Young Rider competitions. In the final tally, Cadel Evans finished sixth overall in his first race with his new squad, the BMC Racing Team. Andre Greipel repeated his victory from two years ago and proved he is a sprinter for January.

Cadel Evans - Most Aggressive Rider Stage 5.  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

“Cadel Mania” wherever you look
Danilo Wyss added to the BMC results with two top 10 stage finishes while in the race’s queen stage, World Champion Cadel Evans attacked and gambled on victory, inciting the Australian crowd to such a state of euphoria as to make many believe the day to have been the best racing ever seen on Australian soil.

“That was the best day of racing that the Tour Down Under has ever had,” race director Mike Turtur enthused. For his efforts, Evans was awarded with the jersey for Most Aggressive Rider. Add that to his third place in stage three and fourth place in stage five, and the new star of the BMC Racing Team has every reason to be content with his 2010 Tour Down Under.

Cadel Evans....
“It has been a very good week for me and the team. We have really had a lot of fun together. And the support the team provided for me has really been impressive. I am looking forward to the rest of the season and am convinced that the BMC Racing Team can deliver a lot more exciting racing throughout the year.” The 32 year old Australian can certainly count on the support from his fans. Regardless of where he went, he was received enthusiastically by countless supporters.

Lots of interest in BMC Bikes and Hincapie Sportswear
The team’s main sponsor, Swiss bicycle manufacturer BMC, has also profited greatly from the team’s strong performance at the Tour Down Under. The local dealers have already felt a surge of demand and the first available jerseys from Hincapie Sportswear are flying off the shelves. Three hundred sets have been sold in only three days. So it is no surprise that BMC owner Andy Rihs felt very content after his brief visit with the team for the first two stages of the race.

 “It is absolutely fantastic that a team like ours is already working together so well after so few days actually racing together. And the appearance of Cadel Evans as the World Road Race Champion and BMC ambassador has greatly impressed not only me but also many Australians, which has been confirmed by their enormous interest in BMC bikes and Hincapie Sportswear.”

While the European members of the BMC team will leave Australia and travel directly back to their homes in Europe, Cadel Evans, George Hincapie and John Lelangue will travel on Monday to California. There they will join the rest of the team for the remainder of the training camp which will last until next Sunday.

Team Sky
Dave Brailsford was a happy man at the end of the Tour Down Under, able to reflect on two victories in Australia for his new team, and to declare: "We've arrived."

"It's very satisfying," said Brailsford, Team Sky's team principal. "If you'd told me we'd come away with two wins when we got on the plane to come down here, I'd have taken it with both hands. There's still a lot of learning to be done, but there aren't many negatives. It's a great start, a great finish, and we'll go home on a high."

Greg Henderson  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Asked to identify the main lesson from the week, Brailsford said: "It's undoubtedly that in this sport, the greatest strength is in the whole team. You're not going to win anything on your own at this level. Unity is so important, and we've seen it done with the exemplary performance by HTC-Columbia all week, and credit to them. They were brilliant. But our lads today came in with a plan and executed it absolutely to perfection. To finish first and second again [thanks to Chris Sutton and Greg Henderson] is phenomenal. We took Chris into the team knowing he had the ability to win stages like this. And Greg's been tremendous all week. It's one of the first times he's led a team into a race like this, and he was a credit to himself."

Sky's Chris Sutton  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Respect for Columbia
Brailsford admitted that HTC-Columbia, who provided the overall winner in André Greipel, who also picked up half of the Tour Down Under's six stages, remain the team to aim for. "There's no doubt about that. They're a well-oiled team, they're firmly in the groove of winning; they are the benchmark and we are the underdogs. 

"But we've taken them on and beaten them twice, and we've got to be satisfied with that. Greipel is up there with anybody as a sprinter, but the fact we have beaten him shows the importance of the team - it's about organization, commitment and willingness to take it on. There's a lot that goes on in a stage race that people don't see - the grind of sitting at the front. Columbia sat on the front of the peloton all day, riding hard, and still managed to set up the finishes - that takes some doing. And that's where we've still got some room to develop.

"It's been a superb race," added Brailsford, "with a field that was in very good shape. This wasn't a warm-up race - the guys were going really, really hard, and a lot of teams had their 'A' teams here. We know we've got some work to do, some areas to look at, but I think the guys showed real guts today. They have done tremendously well."

That was echoed by Sports Director Sean Yates who said: "Despite it being a tough week, the boys were so excited at the start today and they've just socked it to them - it was a joy to watch."

Saxo Bank
Team Saxo Bank stretched the field on the finish line to put Baden Cooke in a favorable position for the sprint.

Baden Cooke
"Our team has worked well together all week and the team has put me in the right position on several occasions but if luck is not with you, it may still prove not to be enough. In the intermediate sprint today, I was in a great position as the chain suddenly falls off and the guys pushed me to keep the position and get the chain back on the chain ring. Now, I am looking forward to the next race and hoping that luck will smile in our direction again."

Hopefully Baden Cooke rid himself of all the bad luck in the first week of the season...   Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

D.S. Bradley McGee was feeling a bit ambivalent on the week...
"We finished the race with mixed emotions. The boys have ridden very well. They have been motivated and showed great teamwork. We lined the team up to put Baden in the best position in the two bonus sprints and he took one second in the first. In the second his chain fell off the front ring after a strong team lead out. Of course, it is frustrating but I have seen a lot of positive things from the boys as well during this last week in Australia."

Team Milram
Great Results for Luke Roberts & Tommy Rohregger

Gerry van Gerwen...
The great results that Luke Roberts, Markus Fothen and Thomas Rohregger delivered were good for us. Compared to last year, we did better on the whole. But the way the team communicates and works together during the race hasn't reached a full 100% yet. Definitely better than how it has been in the past, but not perfect yet. So I'm satisfied, and we are clearly on the right track, but I'm sure we could do even better. On the whole it's interesting to see how the Tour Down Under clearly has grown more important to a lot of teams. It's noticeable that more and more teams prepare themselves especially for the season's opening in Australia, so the level of racing is high.

Tommy Rohregger attacks to win the climbers points on Willunga.
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Especially in the light of this high level that you mentioned, the performance of the new man in the team, Luke Roberts, stands out even more. Did his performance surprise you?

Gerry van Gerwen: Yes, that really surprised me. I knew he was a good rider. But to see that after three years outside the ProTour he's this good already now did surprise very much, but I was also very happy about it of course.

The season's opening in Australia is followed by the next races in the Middle East and in Europe at the beginning of February. Which races are scheduled, and what are your expectations of the MILRAM riders?

Gerry van Gerwen: Part of our team will take part in the Tours of Qatar and later on Oman, starting from the 7 February, while the rest of them will be at the Majorca Challenge which also begins on the 7 February. With all three races the focus is clearly on delivering a good performance and getting good results. We are aiming both for stage wins and overall victories.

 What began in Australia, has to be carried further here. The team for Qatar and Oman is currently preparing themselves at home. Gerald Ciolek did some additional training in Majorca after the team's training camp. This squad will stay together after the races in the Middle East. They will go on to a training camp in Belgium, and hopefully have an equally successful start into the classics season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblaad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

At the end of April, the last seven riders, who weren't in the "self-service" training camp, will meet in Majorca and train together. After that, they will be joined by the Down Under squad for the Majorca-Challenge.

2010 Santos Tour Down Under Success
762,000 people flocked to South Australia to witness a week of cycling action and none were disappointed as the superstars of world cycling put on a spectacular show.

The final 90 kilometre stage was raced in front of 124,000 fans on the Adelaide City Council Circuit with the peloton setting a cracking pace for the 20 laps of the 4.5 kilometre circuit.

Across the finish line Australian fans were thrilled to see Sydney's Chris 'CJ' Sutton of Team Sky, sprint to victory ahead of his team mate Greg Henderson (NZL) with Rabobank's Graeme Brown (AUS) third.

Chris Sutton
“I could not believe that sprint, we talked about our team tactics last night and it was all about team work, we took over control (of the peloton) with two kilometres to go and we had the perfect lead out. I was the last man to lead out Greg (Henderson). I went as long as I could and thought if 'Hendy' could come around me, he would. I held on and got the win and we got one and two, which is incredible!”

Sutton then celebrated by riding another lap of the course so he could hug his family including father Gary, a 1980 track World Champion, who was positioned halfway round the circuit.

Back at the finish line Greipel and his team mates were ecstatic with the result which saw Greipel complete the six stage 794.5 kilometres in a total race time of 18 hours 47 minutes and 5 seconds.

Spaniard and 2005 Tour winner, Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) was second at 11 seconds and Henderson finished third at 15 seconds. Queensland's Robbie McEwen was the highest placed Australian edging ahead of Luke Roberts for fourth place with both 17 seconds off Greipel's time.

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