Sky win stage as Greipel seals Tour

Reuters - Sun, 24 Jan 10:42:00 2010

Germany's Andre Greipel sealed a second Tour Down Under victory in three years when he eased home in fifth place in Sunday's final stage.

Andre Greipel of Germany poses after winning the Tour Down Under in Adelaide - 0

Australia's Chris Sutton won the final stage, 20 laps of a 4.5 kilometre street circuit in central Adelaide, to provide his British-based team Sky with their first stage win on cycling's ProTour.

Greipel, who previously won the Tour Down Under in 2008, had led the six-day race from start to finish, winning three stages, including the first two.

"The other teams had to do the work today if they wanted to win," Greipel said.

"We just stayed calm and managed our own race.

"I am very happy to have won this race twice, the team have ridden well all week and we deserve this."

Greipel started the final day leading Luis Leon Sanchez by 11 seconds and the pair finished with an identical time gap after the Spaniard came home in the main bunch.

New Zealand's Greg Henderson finished second behind his team mate Sutton in Sunday's last stage to move into third place overall.

"It was all about team work, we took over control with two kilometres to go and we had the perfect lead out," Sutton said.

"I was the last man to lead out Greg. I went as long as I could and thought if 'Hendy' could come around me, he would. I held on and got the win and we got one and two, which is incredible!"

Lance Armstrong, who was using the race as part of his ambitious plans to try and win an eighth Tour de France, finished 25th overall in his first outing with his new team Radioshack.

Armstrong finished third in the Tour de France last year after making a comeback to the sport and his team manager Johan Bruynerel said the American was in better shape this season.

"Physically his form is a lot better, he feels good in the bunch and he feels good in the team," Bruyneel said.

"So that's three things that are a lot better than last year."


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