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Tour Down Under: Greipel strikes again

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25.01.2008/ Team High Roads's Andre Greipel won todays fourth stage of the Tour Down Under. It was Greipel's third win of the 2008 season. Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) defended his overall lead.

© Cyclingheroes
Andre Greipel during the 2006 Tour of Germany ( Cyclingheroes)

The 134 kilometres long fourth stage started in Mannum and finished in Strathalbyn. Shortly after the start it was 'raining' attacks. Frantisek Rabon (Team High Road) and Dmytro Grabovskyy (Quickstep) managed to break away, soon they were joined by Luke Roberts (UniSA - Australia) and riders from Bouygues Telecom and Liquigas. After six kilometres the group was caught again. A little bit later the bunch was splitted into three groups during a constant uphill gradient.

The first two goups came together again but the last group will have trouble to get back to the main group. Evgeny Sokolov (Bouygues Telecom) was dropped by the last group and a little bit later the Russian rider abandoned the race. The bunch is one group again but immediatly the next riders attacked. After 12 kilometres Nicki Sorensen (CSC), Mathieu Perget (Caisse D'Epargne) and Simon Clarke (UniSA - Australia) had a lead of 25 seconds on the peloton. After 14 kilometres Arkaitz Duran Daroca  (Saunier Duval - Scott) attacked and managed to reach the breakaway group.

After 22 kilometres the race leaders had a lead of 35 seconds on a chasing group which attacked out of the peloton. Soon after that the race leaders where caught by this chasing group with about 60 riders so there were two main groups at this stage of the race.  Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom), who's been active at almost every stage, and Tom Stubbe (Francaise Des Jeux) attacked out of the first main group and soon they were joined by David Moncoutier (Cofidis).

Several riders tried to cross over to the first main group and after 29 kilometres the breakaway was caught by the first main group. The lead of the leading group of about 60 riders was 1' 15" after 31 kilometres. With 100 kilometres to go the second group joined the race leaders again so it was all back together.

After 47 kilometres the bunch was splitted again, the heavy cross winds were taking its toll. After 49 kilometres Stuart O' Grady (CSC) attacked with Jeremery Roy (Francaise Des Jeux). The bunch did not like a breakaway with O' Grady in it so both riders were caught again. In the first group there were between 60 - 70 riders. After 65 kilometres the front group is splitted again, about 20 riders took off. Overall leader Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) is in the second group which is 20 seconds behind the front group. After 73 kilometres the first two groups were together again.

After 80 kilometres Javier Aramendia  (Euskatel - Euskadi) attacked. Aramendia had a lead of 3' 25" after 100 kilometres and his lead was still growing. The maximum lead of Armendia was just over four minutes (after 99 kilometres). Rabobank and Creit Agricole started to lead the chase and the lead of Armendie dropped rapidly. With 18 kilomteres to go Armendia had less then a minute. The Spanish riders was caught with only six kilometres to go.

The sprinter teams kept the pace high so a desperate attack by an Astana rider was immediatly caught again. It was High Road's Andre Greipel who took the stage. The German rider celebrated his third victory after he already had won the second stage and the Tour Down Under Classic.

"It was really on for the first two hours," said Renshaw whose team was charged with maintaining control of the race to protect his lead. "We were getting hit from left, right and centre.

"All the power of CSC and Caisse d’Epargne and the peloton split to pieces but it all came back together and most importantly it stayed together for a bunch sprint," said Renshaw. "I managed to stay calm and was not too nervous at the finish and it paid off."

"It was really busy today and there were a lot of breakaways with the wind," said Greipel. "In the end we were lucky and we had a second win for the tour."

Greipel's prizes for the win included a Yellow Jersey cow named Fleurieu Freckle which regrettably he will have to leave behind.

"I think it is not possible for me to go back to Germany with a cow in my suitcase," he said.

While Greipel was celebrating Rabobank's Matt Hayman was sitting in the middle of the road stunned after crashing 300 metres from the finish. The Canberra rider had been leading his team mate Graeme Brown up for the sprint and had just eased off to let Brown by when Italian rider Elia Rigotto (Milram) flew down his left hand side and caused the crash. Race officials, after viewing the replay of the incident, fined Rigotto 200 Swiss francs and disqualified him from the Tour for what Chief Commissaire, Michael Robb, described as a "viscious headbut".

Rabobank's sports director Erik Dekker didn't want to appoint anyone for causing this occurrence: "I did not see it and Mathew himself wasn’t angry at anyone." Hayman was transported to hospital where he underwent surgery on his fractured left collar bone. Surgeons inserted a plate and screws in order to speed his recovery and he is expected to be back on his bike within a week.

With 87 riders still within 24 seconds of the race lead tomorrow's fifth stage, that begins and ends in Willunga, could prove decisive. The race heads to the McClaren Vale wine growing region and involves three laps out to Aldinga Bay before the race heads up Old Willunga Hill for the king of the mountain sprint just 20 kilometres from the finish line.

"It's going to be hard tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to it," said Renshaw. "But I’m going to take it by the horns and I think if I can stay within a minute over the top my teammates should be able to drag me back up.

"We’re just going to have to bank on that but we have a double-spear (two-pronged) attack with Simon (Gerrans - 2006 Tour Down Under winner) and myself, so we’ll be looking to either put Simon in the break or have me defend the jersey," explained Renshaw of the team's tactics for the penultimate stage.

Gerolsteiners Heinrich Haussler publishes a riders diary at our website and radsport-aktiv.de (German version). Haussler finished 19th today, in the same time as stage winner Andre Greiple.

Results Tour Down Under 2008
 
Stage 4
 
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                                    3.14.46
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole                                          
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                               
4 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team Csc                                          
5 Denis Flahaut (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott                                     
6 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                         
7 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                                 
8 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Csc                                               
9 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step                                              
10 Jan Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                      
11 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux                                  
12 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                                      
13 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                                              
14 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                   
15 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana                                                   
16 Richie Porte (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
17 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                    
18 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                       
19 Heinrich Friederich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                            
20 Pablo Lastras Garci (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                                 
21 Adam Hansen (Aus) Team High Road                                           
22 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas                                      
23 Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                              
24 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                              
25 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank                                              
26 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas                                              
27 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                      
28 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                          
29 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                           
30 Jose Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                        
31 Sebastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                     
32 Scott Davis (Aus) Team High Road                                           
33 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Csc                                              
34 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                       
35 Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise Des Jeux                                   
36 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne                                      
37 Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                           
38 Erki Putsep (Est) Bouygues Telecom                                         
39 Steve Morabito (Swi) Astana                                                
40 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                       
41 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Credit Agricole                                          
42 Igor Astarloa Ascasibar (Spa) Team Milram                                  
43 Luke Roberts (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
44 Koen De Kort (Ned) Astana                                                  
45 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                             
46 Renaud Dion (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                         
47 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Csc                                             
48 Mario Aerts (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                            
49 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                   
50 Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) Quick Step                                         
51 Simon Clarke (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
52 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step                                        
53 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                               
54 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                  
55 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                                            
56 Enrico Poitschke (Ger) Team Milram                                         
57 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom                              
58 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                          
59 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole                                        
60 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                         
61 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                                  
62 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Quick Step                                        
63 Nick Gates (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                             
64 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre                                             
65 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                             
66 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre                                              
67 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                      
68 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank                                                  
69 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                 
70 Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                        
71 Volker Ordowski (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                         
72 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                        
73 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas                                         
74 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                       
75 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Quick Step                                          
76 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas                                             
77 Christian Murro (Ita) Lampre                                               
78 Javier Aramendia Lorenti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                         
79 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                     
80 Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step                                               
81 Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                     
82 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                           
83 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                          
84 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team High Road                                       
85 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Astana                                                
86 Greg Henderson (NZl) Team High Road                                        
87 Martin Muller (Ger) Team Milram                                            
88 Andoni Lafuente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                  
89 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Csc                                  
90 Allan Johansen (Den) Team Csc                                              
91 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road                                        
92 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                        
93 Dennis Haueisen (Ger) Team Milram                                          
94 Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana                                       
95 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne                                      
96 Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita) Team Milram                                       
97 Amael Moinard (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                        
98 Karl Menzies (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
99 Jesus Del Nero Montes (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                            
100 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                     
101 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Csc                                          
102 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                    
103 Ivan Santaromita Villa (Ita) Liquigas                                     
104 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Lampre                                                
105 Emanuele Bindi (Ita) Lampre                                               
106 Jon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                  
107 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                               
108 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre                                            
109 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole                                      
110 Christophe Kern (Fra) Credit Agricole                                     
111 Tom Stubbe (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux                                       
112 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Credit Agricole                                      
113 Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                    
114 Ruben Lobato Elvira (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                             
115 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                         
116 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                     
117 Julien Mazet (Fra) Astana                                              0.26
118 Carlo Westphal (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                         
119 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                 0.26
120 Stephane Poulhies (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                  
121 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                   
122 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole                                 
123 Rene Haselbacher (Aut) Astana                                          1.03
124 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team High Road                                  1.21
125 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Milram                                      1.28
126 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank                                           1.45
127 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank                                               1.48
128 Theo Elltink (Ned) Rabobank                                               
129 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank                                              
DSQ Elia Rigotto (Ita) Team Milram                                            
DNF Evgeny Sokolov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom

General Classification after stage 4
 
1 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole                                   13.28.38
2 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                                       0.04
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                      0.07
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                            0.14
5 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                                 
6 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                  0.18
7 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                        
8 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                   0.19
9 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank                                             0.20
10 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas                                             
11 Jan Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                   0.21
12 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                            0.22
13 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                  
14 Richie Porte (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
15 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux                               0.23
16 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                        
17 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Csc                                           0.24
18 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                                      
19 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                      
20 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step                                             
21 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                                              
22 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas                                      
23 Denis Flahaut (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott                                    
24 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                          
25 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                       
26 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana                                                   
27 Heinrich Friederich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                            
28 Jose Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                        
29 Adam Hansen (Aus) Team High Road                                           
30 Erki Putsep (Est) Bouygues Telecom                                         
31 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom                              
32 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank                                              
33 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                                            
34 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                       
35 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                           
36 Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                        
37 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                             
38 Igor Astarloa Ascasibar (Spa) Team Milram                                  
39 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Csc                                             
40 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                       
41 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                   
42 Renaud Dion (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                         
43 Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise Des Jeux                                   
44 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole                                        
45 Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                              
46 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Quick Step                                          
47 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Csc                                              
48 Koen De Kort (Ned) Astana                                                  
49 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team Csc                                         
50 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                          
51 Simon Clarke (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
52 Scott Davis (Aus) Team High Road                                           
53 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                                  
54 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre                                             
55 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                             
56 Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                           
57 Mario Aerts (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                            
58 Carlo Westphal (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                          
59 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Credit Agricole                                          
60 Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step                                               
61 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne                                      
62 Luke Roberts (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                       
63 Jon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                   
64 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank                                                  
65 Ivan Santaromita Villa (Ita) Liquigas                                      
66 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas                                              
67 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                     
68 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Lampre                                                 
69 Sebastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                     
70 Volker Ordowski (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                         
71 Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana                                       
72 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                        
73 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                                 
74 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre                                              
75 Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) Quick Step                                         
76 Jesus Del Nero Montes (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                            
77 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Quick Step                                        
78 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                           
79 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas                                         
80 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                      
81 Christophe Kern (Fra) Credit Agricole                                      
82 Amael Moinard (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                        
83 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Csc                                  
84 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne                                      
85 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre                                             
86 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Csc                                           
87 Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita) Team Milram                                       
88 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step                                     0.44
89 Christian Murro (Ita) Lampre                                            1.01
90 Dennis Haueisen (Ger) Team Milram                                       1.58
91 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank                                                2.12
92 Pablo Lastras Garci (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                              2.39
93 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne                                
94 Nick Gates (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                          3.29
95 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team High Road                                   3.36
96 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road                                     3.50
97 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Milram                                       3.51
98 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                           4.28
99 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                   
100 Enrico Poitschke (Ger) Team Milram                                        
101 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                         
102 Javier Aramendia Lorenti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                        
103 Steve Morabito (Swi) Astana                                               
104 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                     
105 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                        
106 Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                    
107 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team High Road                                      
108 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                         
109 Allan Johansen (Den) Team Csc                                             
110 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Astana                                               
111 Andoni Lafuente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                 
112 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole                                      
113 Ruben Lobato Elvira (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                             
114 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone                     
115 Greg Henderson (NZl) Team High Road                                    4.47
116 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                4.50
117 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole                              4.54
118 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                                    
119 Julien Mazet (Fra) Astana                                                 
120 Martin Muller (Ger) Team Milram                                        5.29
121 Rene Haselbacher (Aut) Astana                                          5.31
122 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank                                           6.13
123 Theo Elltink (Ned) Rabobank                                            6.16
124 Emanuele Bindi (Ita) Lampre                                            6.22
125 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Credit Agricole                                   6.24
126 Tom Stubbe (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux                                    6.27
127 Stephane Poulhies (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale                               7.35
128 Karl Menzies (Aus) Unisa - Australia                                   9.04
129 Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                12.08

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