André Greipel proved beyond doubt that he is the fastest sprinter at the Tour Down Under when he took his third stage win in Goolwa today.



The HTC Columbia rider got another perfect ride to the line from his lead-out train to beat comeback man Robbie McEwen and consolidate his overall lead. The well drilled win came despite the last 20 kilometres of racing being run in chaotic conditions as strong cross winds battered the peloton.



Greipel was given an armchair ride to 100 metres to go, a team performance that HTC Columbia boss Bob Stapleton said was one of their best in the last two years. “I’m just really proud of the way the team worked, they really gelled,” Stapleton said.



“That was a crazy day out there with the wind. I think everyone knew it was coming, but then when it came it was more than a lot of people were prepared for. There were at least 40 guys off the back, [riders were] in the dirt, cyclo crossing in the gutter.”

The seven man break that slipped the peloton’s clutches before the long climb of Fox Creek road at 26km had the advantage of a tail wind for much of the day. But with their time cushion never getting above three minutes they were soon caught when the route changed direction and they lost their advantage.

As winds played havoc with the bunch, Team RadioShack saw their chance and catapulted Lance Armstrong up the road with team mate Tomas Vaitkus. The pair built a lead of 23 seconds at one point, and panic set in as the American was only 20 seconds down on the lead. The splintering bunch eventually go organisd and brought them back, but it was only in the last five kilometres.



“There’s full respect for Lance, no one underestimates him, and Viatkus is a big strong boy and he was flying,” Stapleton continued. “They kind of burned everybody up to get him to the front and launch those guys.”



“If they’d had one or two more guys that would have been a real threat. It definitely caught everyone’s eye and there was a bit of panic in the peloton.”



With Greipel in the leader’s jersey, HTC Columbia have one more tough day in the saddle tomorrow before they can relax and start to think about overall victory. “I think they’re going to be tired tomorrow,” Stapelton admitted. “I think it was everybodies strategy to make us work all day, and that might work.”



“I think they’re going to come back strong, but tomorrow’s really hard, and if Caisse d’Epargne, RadioShack and others are really aggressive it’s going to be a really good day of racing.”

tour down under 2010, tdu 2010, tdu, stage 4, andre greipel, lance armstrong, team sky, radioshack, htc columbia

Team Sky’s Chris Froome piles on the pace as the peloton brings back the seven man group.

tour down under 2010, tdu 2010, tdu, stage 4, andre greipel, lance armstrong, team sky, radioshack, htc columbia

Lance Armstrong catches everyone by surprise with a late attack in the last 20 kilometres

Tour Down Under stage 4: Norwood – Goolwa, 149.5km

1. André Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia

2. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha

3. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

4. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team RadioShack

5. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Footon Servetto

6. Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin-Transitions

7. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma Lotto

8. Matthew Goss (Aus) Saxo Bank

9. Robert Forster (Ger) Milram

10. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Francaise des Jeux



General Classification

1. André Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia 13-23.57hours

2. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha  at 20 secs

3. Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Sky at 24 secs

4. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team RadioShack at same time

5. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at 26 secs

6. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma Lotto

7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at same time

8. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 29 secs

9. Robbie Hunter (Aus) Garmin Transitions at 30 secs

10. Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank at same time

Tour Down Under 2010: Race reports

Tour Down Under, stage three: Cardoso takes win ahead of Valverde

Tour Down Under, stage two: Greipel takes win number two

Tour Down Under, stage one: Greipel takes back sprint crown

Cancer Council Helpline Classic: Team Sky off to perfect start as Henderson wins



Tour Down Under 2010: Related links




Downing adapts to embrace new challenge



Hayman admits to nerves before Sky’s debut









Tour Down Under news round-up (Jan 16)



Armstrong leads thousands on Twitter ride in Adelaide



Team Sky ready for first race









Armstrong warms up Down Under









Armstrong in Australia: “I’m in better shape than last year”









Team Sky gets ready for Tour Down Under









Tour Down Under 2010: Start list







Lance Armstrong to ride 2010 Tour Down Under



Cadel Evans and BMC to ride Tour Down Under



Tour Down Under teams confirm rosters



Davis wins 2009 Tour Down Under

Tour Down Under 2010: Photo galleries



TDU stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson



TDU stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson



TDU stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson



Cancer Council Helpline Classic



Armstrong in Adelaide



External link





Tour Down Under official website

 

  • Lee M

    So Skys Henderson reckons they know how to beat HTC Columbia……must be waiting for the right time I guess !!