- 2011 Tour Down Under: Stuart O'Grady sports his new Leopard-Trek kit.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Matt Goss wins Stage 1, his second win of the week.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Richie Porte , Saxo Bank Sungard, works his way through the caravan.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Danny Pate, drifts back to his team car.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: The five-man break stayed out until the sprinters' teams got down to work. | Graham Watson Photo - GrahamWatson.com
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Cameron Meyer , Garmin-Cervelo, on Stage 1.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Julian Loubet leads the five-man break through a turn.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Armstrong stayed relaxed in the peloton.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Matt Hayman leads the chase for team Sky.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: The peloton gradually ramps up the chase.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Simon Clarke leads the break.
- 2011 Tour Down Under: Robbie McEwen and Mark Cavendish know that their work won't start until the end of the stage.
HTC-HighRoad’s Matthew Goss showed he is a serious contender for the overall title at the Tour Down Under by winning the opening stage Tuesday, finishing ahead of sprint rival, former teammate and reigning champion Andre Greipel.
Held over 138 kilometers (85 miles) from Mawson Lakes to Angaston in the hilly wine region outside Adelaide, the first stage proper was marked by an early five-man breakaway.
The five escapees were reeled in with less than 10km remaining, guaranteeing a field sprint on a slightly uphill home straight, where Goss jumped out from behind the wheel of lead-out man Mark Renshaw to surge to a convincing victory.
It was Goss’s second win of the week, the Australian having also won the Cancer Council Classic criterium over 51km on Sunday, an event does not count towards the overall classifications of the Tour Down Under.
After some textbook lead-out work by his sprint train, Goss finished off the job in style ─ and was quick to share the glory with fellow Aussie Renshaw.
“With the work that Renshaw did today it was hard not to win,” said the 24-year-old Goss, who has come into this event on form having won the Bay Crits series and finished second at the national championships road race.
“It’s an ideal start, but there’s still five stages left in the race.”
Greipel quit the HTC-HighRoad team last year in a bid to boost career that has been affected by the dominance of former teammate Mark Cavendish, who filled the role as the team’s marquee sprinter.
The German admitted his opening sprint of the season did not quite go as planned.
“With around 400 meters to go I got a little bit boxed in, so I had to start my sprint early,” he said.
“Then Gossy came up” beside him “and so I had to relaunch my sprint again.”
“Goss is the strongest guy here so far,” Greipel noted. “But this was a good warm-up and finishing second is a good confidence boost for me and the team.”
In Sunday’s criterium McEwen impressed with a third place finish having had to relaunch his sprint from scratch after being caught behind the leaders following a late crash.
Despite being caught out by several sprint trains Tuesday, the Queenslander showed he should be one to be reckoned with this week.
South African teammate Robbie Hunter helped McEwen plug a gap during the hectic finale, but when it came to the final effort the Aussie had little left to give.
“I lost position a little bit but coming into the last kilometer Robbie Hunter did a tremendous job to bring me back to the front. We must have passed 50 guys to come back onto third wheel,” said McEwen.
“But when you come from that far you eventually get in position but you’re legless, and I actually didn’t have much left in the sprint at all.”