Posts Tagged ‘Team High Road’

Source: TDU Website

After several attacks from the gun, after 20km we have a lead group of five that formed including Greg Henderson (NZl) of Team High Road, Carlo Westphal (Ger) of Gerolsteiner and Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) of Euskaltel – Euskadi, along with Julien Mazet (Fra) of Astana and Renaud Dion (Fra) from Ag2R-La Mondiale. At the 114km point, they were caught after spending over 90km off the front, even though their lead was over 4 minutes at one stage. The peloton cam back together for the climb of Willunga Hill and as expected, the fireworks started. Continue Reading »

Source: TDU Website

Andre Greipel (Team High Road) today paid homage to the heritage of Hahndorf, first settled by Germans in 1839, by giving the fans a German winner on Stage 2 of the 2008 Tour Down Under but it’s an Australian, Graeme Brown, who wears the race leader’s ochre jersey after a countback to separate three riders deadlocked on time.

Greipel, who won the Down Under Classic curtain raiser event at Glenelg on Sunday, unleashed a furious sprint kick to win the 148km stage from Stirling in a time of 3hr46min55sec holding off Australians Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Allan Davis (Australia-UniSA) who finished second and third respectively.

“I feel like I am in Germany here and before the race I thought it would be nice to win here because it is a German city,” said Greipel. “I think the people from Hahndorf are also proud of me.” Continue Reading »

The 2008 ProTour season is now upon us. previews the first big race of 2008 – The Tour Down Under.

Now into its 10th year, the Tour Down Under has been nothing short of a success. Its ‘Honour Roll’ shows that is has certainly attracted some big names in cycling. Stuart O’Grady, Michael Rogers, Cadel Evans, Luis Leon Sanchez, Andrea Tafi and Laurent Brochard are just some of the riders who have had an impact on this race.

In recent years the race has become very formulaic – a breakaway would invariably form early on in the first stage representing most, if not all teams, and build up a sizeable gap on the rest. The peloton would enjoy a somewhat leisurely ride to the finish line. The rest of the race therefore became a battle between a select few to see who would take out the title.

The main instigators of the aggression has come from the local Australian teams, using the big stage to demonstrate their abilities. But with the elevation to ProTour ranks comes a change to the makeup of riders who will be competing.

133 riders, comprising of 19 seven-men teams will head off from Mawson Lakes on Stage 1. This is an increase from the 112 who took to the start line last year.

29 riders taking their place in the Tour Down Under also took part in the 2007 Tour de France, whilst 22 nationalities are represented – highlighting both the quality and diversity of this years’ field.

The 785 km race comprises of 6 stages:

Tue Jan 22 – Mawson Lakes to Angaston (129 km)
Wed Jan 23 – Stirling to Hahndorf (148 km)
Thu Jan 24 – Unley to Victor Harbor (139 km)
Fri Jan 25 – Mannum to Strathalbyn (134 km)
Sat Jan 26 – Willunga to Willunga (147 km)
Sun Jan 27 – Adelaide to Adelaide (88 km)

Stage One
Tuesday’s stage takes riders from the northern suburbs of Adelaide into the famed Barossa Valley and will be ideal for those riders looking for a good overall result. The only KOM climb for the day comes within 15 kilometres of the start line and will be the perfect launching pad for the day’s first big serious attacks.

If a good-sized break does get clear on the Gould Creek climb it may be a case of see you in Angaston. Most teams will be looking to place a rider in the break, so the initial attacks could include some big names.

Two intermediate sprints are on offer as the peloton make their way through the picturequse vineyards. The run into Angaston is slightly uphill but wont effect the sprinters opportunities, if the breakaways are reigned in.

The Favourites
At Sunday’s press conference both Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) and defending champion Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) predicted an ‘unpredictable’ first stage. McEwen doesn’t write off the possibility of a mass bunch sprint.

With the TDU gaining ProTour status, McEwen believes this will change the intesity and tactics of the race. “There are ProTour points on offer, which teams like to have, that individual riders like to have. None of these teams want to travel all the way to Australia and embarrass themselves by missing the break, not having anyone up in the overall”.

There are 5 previous TDU winners who would like to stamp their authority on the race: O’Grady, Sanchez, Mikel Astarloza, Simon Gerrans and Elmiger. Although O’Grady is still working his way back to top form following his horrendous crash in last year’s Tour de France, expect him to be his ever aggressive self when the opportunity presents itself.

Some local riders who have shown good form over the summer include recently crowned Australian Road Race Champion Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) and runner-up, Adam Hansen (Team High Road). Hansen in particular looks strong after also winning the Australian Time Trial championship.

UniSA-Australia, the only non ProTour squad at the TDU will be out to impress too, showing that their wildcard selection is justified.

The Tour Down Under promises to be wide open where any rider who has this race as one of their seasons’ objectives will be in with a chance.

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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