Greipel hitches ride to stage win
Victor ... Andre Greipel wins the first stage of the Tour Down Under, ending at Lobethal in the Adelaide hills.
German sprint ace Andre Greipel has won his 12th Tour Down Under stage with a blistering finish in stage one.
Greipel again made the most of the superb work from his Lotto-Belisol leadout train to easily win the 135-kilometre opening stage from Prospect to the Adelaide Hills town of Lobethal.
The 2008 and 2010 tour champion opened up a gap of three bike-lengths in the final sprint.
Greipel also won the People's Choice Classic on Saturday night.
Frenchman Arnaud Demare was second on Tuesday and Australian Mark Renshaw was third. Greipel is highly unlikely to contend for the overall win this year despite being clearly the top sprinter in the field.
The course for the six-stage tour is much tougher than when Greipel won three years ago and Wednesday's corkscrew road climb will put him out of overall contention.
Australian defending champion Simon Gerrans picked up valuable bonus seconds by placing runner-up in the first intermediate sprint during the opening stage.
Australian under-23 road champion Jordan Kerby broke away but was caught with 36 kilometres left.