ANOTHER WEEK-Australia this time around

Young German rider Andre Greipel has taken out the 2008 Down Under Classic in Australia and in the process given Team High Road their first victory. Unfortunately Andre’s win does not count in the Tour Down Under Classification! Still it is comforting for the former T-Mobile Team to make their presence felt.

The win is definitely a boost for the German based ProTour squad who had to recover from losing their main sponsor, T-Mobile at the end of 2007 due to the ongoing doping controversies that have enveloped the sport.

The Down Under Classic was held in mild and windy conditions, but right from the opening gun the attacks were on. Rabobank made the first move of the evening – sending Bram De Groot on an experimental excursion to test the waters. However after two circuits of the 2 km course, all riders were back together.

The first few laps were raced at a hectic pace before things started to settle down into a steady rhythm. With sprints held at the end of every 5 laps, the attacks were still quite regular, although no one was able to get a substantial break on the Rabobank controlled peloton.

The Dutch based squad had all riders on the front controlling the pace and setting the scene for their main hope of the night, Graeme Brown.

With 5 kilometres remaining, a couple of other pre-race favourites in Robbie McEwen and Allan Davis started to make their move towards the front of the group.

Team High Road, who had remained rather inconspicuous during the night also started to show their hand with both Greipel and Austrian Bernhard Eisel looking like they could pose a threat. As the riders entered the final straight it looked liked a battle between Brown who was starting to struggle, and last years’ winner Mark Renshaw.

Greipel however, finished strongest as riders had to contend with a stiff headwind. Renshaw was able to hold onto second from the wily McEwen whilst Davis collected fourth.

Final Results:

Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 1.09.20
Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole
Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto
Allan Davis (Aus) UniSA-Australia
Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne
Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step
Denis Flahaut (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott
Matthew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre
Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner

Riders will now enjoy a day off – no doubt filled with a training run, before the start on Tuesday of the Tour Down Under.

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