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Greipel wins People's Choice Classic
Chris Wang, WWOS
20:30 AEST Sun Jan 20 2013

Lotto-Belisol's German rider Andre Greipel won the People's Choice Classic, a prelude to the Santos Tour Down Under.

It was Greipel's third win of the Classic, a 30-lap, 51km criterium around Rymill Park in Adelaide.

Australia's Matthew Goss, riding for Orica-GreenEDGE, was second in the sprint finish.

It was literally on for young and old from the beginning when UniSA's Zak Dempster and Radioshack Leopard Trek veteran Jens Voigt formed a two-man breakaway on the first lap. Their lead was 20 seconds by the sixth lap of 30.

The Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano teams went to the head of the peloton to drive the chase, hoping to set the finish up for Greipel and Marcel Kittel.

Dempster won all four prime sprints on laps five, 10, 15 and 20 with Voigt unselfishly letting his younger opponent take the points without a duel.

By lap 16 the main field had Dempster and Voigt in its sights as the tempo quickened and the pair was reeled in on lap 21.

With six laps to go the FDJ and Garmin-Sharp teams moved to the front to gain good position for their sprinters William Bonnet and Tyler Farrar.

Astana's Andrey Kashechkin almost took out Goss at high speed on lap 27 but apologised for his scrappy move.

At the end of the penultimate lap Lotto-Belisol drove to the front with Australian Adam Hansen preparing to lead out for Greipel.

The big German, who won the Classic last year, put his head down going around the final bend and rode to victory over Goss.

"It's always good to start with a win," Greipel said.

"We tried it in training over the past days and we stuck to our plan. Everyone in the team did his job, it was a nice victory.

"We're realistic. It's the opening criterium and we just have to prove ourselves on the first stage."

The six-stage Santos Tour Down under begins on Tuesday with Stage 1 a 135km ride from Prospect to Lobethal.


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