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11th Tour Down Under - ProT

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, January 18-25, 2009

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Stage 1 - January 20: Norwood - Mawson Lakes, 140 km

Complete live report

10:13 CST   
Good morning from sunny South Australia. Today we will be bringing you the first stage of Tour Down Under, the 140 kilometre stage from Norwood to Mawson Lakes. Riders will tackle two King of the Mountains and as many sprint competitions over the course of today. Coverage kicks off from 11 AM CDT. Join us then as Lance Armstrong takes on his first ProTour stage of 2009.

10:54 CST   
Welcome back to Cyclingnews’ live coverage of the 2009 Tour Down Under. Today’s race will start in the suburb of Norwood, which is in South Australia’s oldest local government municipality. The peloton rolls out of Norwood towards Gepps Cross, some 11 kilometres down the road, where the neutral zone will finish and the race begins.

10:58 CST   
While it’s only 25 degrees Celsius outside at the moment – with 69% humidity – it’s the making of a warmish day. The mercury is expected to entre the low 30s as the day moves on – toasty compared to the Northern European weather many of the riders would otherwise be training in, but not a super warm day by recent standards in Adelaide.

11:02 CST   
As the riders are carrying out their last checks with the stage just minutes away from starting, we’re keen on hearing from the readers. Feel free to send your predictions, comments, or just general rants to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com – we will print a few as the day rolls on.

11:08 CST   
And we're away! The peloton is rolling out of Norwood towards Mawson Lakes, which is about 20 kilometres down the road. The peloton will pass through Mawson Lakes in the first hour, then return shortly before 3 PM this afternoon for the finish.

11:11 CST   
Mark has asked if Allan Davis looks good in blue and white? I'll be honest with you Mark, I don't often say this, but having seen Alby in the lobby yesterday wearing his Quick Step kit, clean shaven, with nice hair cut, yeah, he was looking pretty spiffy.

11:13 CST   
Lets not forget Allan isn't the only Davis in this year's race. Scott Davis is also competing as a part of the UniSA/Australian National team.

11:13 CST   
The first sprint in today’s race comes at kilometre 30.3, at One Tree Hill’s Main Street. The second doesn’t come until kilometre 95.6, where riders will sprint down Williamstown Road in Sandy Creek, after the feed station at Yetti Road in Williamstown.

11:15 CST   
For those that missed the precursor to today’s stage, the Cancer Council Criterium, it was Robbie McEwen (Katusha) who took a sprint victory over Milram rival Wim Stroetinga. The duo flew past Andre Greipel whose Columbia team had put in a solid showing, only to fall just outside the podium positions.

11:18 CST   
Speaking of Sunday’s race, second placed Wim Stroetinga spoke to Cyclingnews before rolling out this morning. He’s thinking about having another go on today’s stage.

“There’s always a chance [for me] when it’s a sprint. I’ll try to get position - on Sunday it was really hard to get into position. Today is going to be a longer race with some hills; I don’t know how I’ll sprint after a few hills. If it’s a sprint I’ll try to win it.”

11:18 CST   
Wim added: “It was the first race of the season on Sunday. I’d done the Rotterdam Six before then; Sunday was like a track race which was perfect. Today is different but sprinting is still the same.”

11:20 CST   
After recording a massive 138,000 fans at Sunday night's race, crowd figures look to be on their way to another record already today. Thousands of people were present at the start line and also through the neutral zone this morning. Probably a few people pulling sickies in Adelaide today - although we've already heard from a few who haven't been able to escape the office.

11:25 CST   
The riders are getting close to the official start in Gepps Cross - around one kilometre to go before the racing begins. Obviously there's no racing until they reach this point - but to those who have e-mailed in, we will let you know what's happening as the riders attack the course and one another.

11:26 CST   
A King of the Mountains will be contested shortly after the first sprint, at kilometre 39.3 in Gould Creek. The second will come just before the feed station at Checker Hill, 61.1 kilometres into the stage.

11:26 CST   
The highest the riders will climb to throughout today’s stage is 450 metres above sea level.

11:28 CST   
There's clearly a few fans of little Robbie McEwen out there today - with the Katusha rider the most backed rider for today's win out of all the fan e-mails we've received thus far.

11:29 CST   
The news isn't so good for Katusha's team kit, nor Columbia's for that matter, with fans telling they don't like this year's getups. Steve said: "It appears the contest for the ugliest team outfit has started...Columbia/High Road is just plain bad and is out in front...and Astana and Katusha are not much better. A shame such good riders getting around in bad kit. "

11:30 CST   
As the peloton takes to the race start the only thing leaving the peloton is the photographer motorbikes.

11:31 CST   
Riders experienced a hot day during Monday’s ‘rest day’ temperatures reached over 40 degrees Celsius, but several team managers refused to bow to rider’s calls to cut their training rides short. The message to most was if you can’t train for five hours in the dry heat, you’ve got no hope of racing in it. Tough love that one.

11:32 CST   
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are the first riders to attack on today's stage.

11:33 CST   
Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) won't be doing any attacking just yet, the Spaniard has dropped back to the team car to fix a problem with his shoe.

11:34 CST   
Our two leaders - Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - have been given some breathing room by the peloton with the gap out to one minutes.

11:35 CST   
Australia's Graeme Brown (Rabobank) told us this morning Sunday's third place was both good and bad for the rider. “Sunday wasn’t quite to plan, but the important thing was, from a team perspective, the director wanted us to ride as a team, and that’s what we did. Everyone did a good job. I got a little excited in the finish… close, but no cigar.”

11:37 CST   
Brown added that today is all about the final five kilometres, where he's hoping for a sprint finish. “We’ve got some really strong riders here this year - there’s probably four guys that can help me. When it comes to the final five kilometres that’s when we really want to make our mark, which is a complete opposite to last year. Last year we rode on the front every day and this year we’re not going to do that. We’re going to do it in the last four kilometres where it counts. The most important thing about this tour is that we do it right. If we don’t win it doesn’t matter, we want to make sure we do it right.”

11:38 CST    8/132 to go
As the day's stage nears its first 10 kilometres, Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) continue to draw out their margin over le peloton. They now have 1.45 minutes over the group.

11:39 CST   
As most of you will be aware, this year’s event is also the comeback race of Tour de France champions Lance Armstrong (Astana) and Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Eparnge). Both riders have spoken to Cyclingnews.com about their returns – one from retirement and the other from a horrifying injury during last year’s Tour de France – so check out the interviews on the homepage. You can also see video footage from Sunday’s crazy-long press conference with Armstrong.

11:42 CST   
I ran into defending champion Andre Greipel from Team Columbia in the lift this morning…along with the entire Bbod-Bouygues Telecom team (lucky it was a big lift). I’ve got to say Greipel looked like he’d been to the Kimi Raikkonen school of cool. The German said at the weekend there’s no pressure on him this week, and the only thing he’s showing is a set of ripped calf muscles.

11:45 CST   
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) have been doing some work over the last three kilometres. The duo are working well together according to reports from the motorbike and have now pulled the gap out to 3.15 minutes.

11:49 CST   
Hudd has asked the question I was frankly hoping nobody would - for my pick on today's stage. I'm honestly torn on this one, we've got so many great sprinters in this year's field and I think that's what it will come down to. Columbia has a strong team, with Greipel having last year's stage winner Mark Renshaw as a lead out man, that's a strong combination. With the said, Master McEwen was nothing short of impressive on Sunday's criterium and Brownie is also keen on knocking off his compatriot for a win.

I will say this: whoever takes it, it's going to be a great finish.

11:50 CST    14/126 to go
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are now out to 4.20 minutes over the peloton. The group will likely let them out to about six minutes and keep them hanging around there.

11:52 CST   
Matthew Hayman is hoping to lead out Brownie for a Rabobank win today. Hayman was taken out - in every sense of the word - of last year's event. The headbut incident led organisers to throw the first person out of the race in its history, while Hayman was out with a broken collarbone.

“Mike’s [Turtur] made the race a bit harder this year, so there’ll be a few more hills out there today. We’ll just have to see what happens – there’s a bit of wind around, so out on the road we’ll know more. On Sunday it was a criterium, so it’s a bit different, and everyone still has to find their legs on the hills. We’re pretty confident it’ll be a bunch sprint, and hopefully I can drop Brownie off somewhere close to the finish and we can get some runs on the board.”

11:57 CST   
Reports from the finish line indicate the crowd there is already three people deep and growing. For those who have asked, we've hit a technical problem today which means we won't be displaying images during the live coverage. With that said we do have the equipment with us and will be doing this on the remaining stages.

11:59 CST    20/120 to go
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) have pulled away to 5.45 minutes. The peloton should start to slow the pairs progress now and hold them around the six to seven minute mark for the time being.

12:01 CST   
New Fuiji-Servetto rider William Walker from Australia has decided he wants a slice of the breakaway action. Walker has attacked the peloton in pursuit of the two leaders.

12:02 CST   
Walker, whose brother is a professional snowboarder, has pulled out a 400 metre gap on the peloton.

12:07 CST    25/115 to go
Some 25 kilometres into the race the two leaders Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) hold a 6.25 minute lead over the peloton. Interestingly Will Walker's (Fuji-Servetto) efforts are paying off, he's only 4.55 minutes behind the pair now.

12:09 CST   
It's another Aussie attack as Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Jack Bobridge (UniSA) leave the front of the peloton. That means Aussie, Aussie, Aussie are chasing the leaders!

12:11 CST   
Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) and Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel - Euskadi) have now joined McEwen and Bobridge to form a group of four.

12:12 CST   
The peloton has split in two in reaction to the four riders - Robbie McEwen (Katusha) Jack Bobridge (UniSA), Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) and Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel - Euskadi) -breaking away from it.

12:13 CST   
Two kilometres out from the first sprint and the peloton is back together. Clearly the threat of Robbie McEwen (Katusha) Jack Bobridge (UniSA), Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) and Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel - Euskadi) getting away proved too great and the peloton had to act.

12:15 CST    29/111 to go
A Lampre rider has gone down - we're waiting on confirmation as to who it was. Will Walker's gap to the leaders - Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - remains at 4.55 minutes, while the peloton is 5.35 minutes behind the duo.

12:15 CST   
On Sunday evening’s race Master Armstrong had a peak at the front of the peloton, flanked by two Astana teammates before retreating back to the middle of the pack – where he was still surrounded by teammates. While Armstrong said he’d throw caution to the wind for the criterium, he also said he’ll have a crack at whatever opportunity comes his way for the remainder of the week.

So we could see Armstrong making some headlines later in the week…that would sure be a change, he’s hardly been in the media at all so far.

12:18 CST   
We've had confirmation it was Lampre's Vitaliy Buts from the Ukraine that came down earlier. The rider has rejoined the peloton.

12:19 CST    30.3/109.7 to go
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) has taken the first sprint win over Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at Main Street in One Tree Hill. William Walker (Fuji-Servetto) is still ahead of the peloton and so should take third spot.

12:21 CST   
Okay, okay, so just to set the record straight we've had plenty of people come in to bat for Team Columbia's kit following our earlier feedback. I guess it's one of those love it or hate it things!

12:24 CST    38.8/101.2 to go
The two leaders - Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - are just 500 metres away from the day's first KOM now.

12:31 CST   
It's all over for William Walker (Fuji-Servetto) as the peloton reaches the KOM. Walker has been all but caught at Gould Creek.

12:32 CST   
Brian has corrected me on yesterday's max temperature in Adelaide - it was 37 not 40. I guess the reading outside the markets near Adelaide's Hilton Hotel is a few degrees out!

12:33 CST   
Will Walker (Fuji-Servetto) has claimed third place in the KOM competition. The Australian is fighting to hold onto his slim margin over the peloton.

12:34 CST   
Will Walker (Fuji-Servetto) has finally been caught - he was probably just holding on to take the KOM bounty. The speed in the peloton is increasing.

12:37 CST   
Saxo Bank's Matthew Goss was feeling good ahead of today's stage. “I think the legs should be ok – I’ve done a lot of racing but not so many long kilometres in the saddle. I should be good if it comers to a [smaller] finish, I think I’ve got the legs to be up there, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to do that during the week.

“The guys are pretty geed. If I get out there I’d like to reward them with a win, especially if they’re working for me.”

12:38 CST   
With some 30 kilometres before the next climb, the riders are taking the opportunity to have a feed.

12:41 CST   
Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) took out the first KOM sprint from Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto). William Walker (Fuji-Servetto) took third from fellow Aussie Jack Bobridge (UniSA) while Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) took fifth.

12:42 CST   
Graeme tells me the temperature has just clocked 30.3 degrees just near where the riders currently are.

12:43 CST   
Paul from Sydney believes Robbie McEwen (Katusha) might not only take today's stage, but also the overall tour. It's a big call, given race director Mike Turtur has tried to put in some extra climbs for this year's race, like a second lap of Willunga.

12:48 CST   
While the action has died down a little, many are asking about that guy from Texas. What's his name? Lance Armstrong? Anyway, in response to the question what is he doing the answer is not much. He may have won seven Tour de Frances but after three years "drinking beer and sitting on my arse", as he put it, Lance will likely spend the day just getting use to riding in the peloton.

Armstrong could, however, show his condition later in the week on the stages to Stirling and Willunga.

12:51 CST   
My thoughts are with Michael from Canada who said "-14C here in Toronto, with about 30cm of fresh snow". Should I rub in the fact I'm wearing shorts, sunnies and a t-shirt, or does it go without saying?

As for the questions about cow reports - we were discussing this in the lift this morning! While Jeff Jones now works on our sister website Bikeradar.com, we're going to try and get some cow spotting in later in the week.

12:54 CST   
The peloton has brought back a little time on the leaders Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi). The gap is now at 6 minutes even.

12:59 CST   
For those who haven't heard - Armstrong is riding in his Astana team kit, however he is riding the much-publicized black Livestrong Trek. The bike itself had a close call after Sunday night's race; the bike was being photographed by some punters as it was being taken back to the race village from the Hilton Hotel - meanwhile a driver in a Holden Commodore turning right narrowly missed it. So what have we learned? Don't take photos of a black bike on the road at night.

13:00 CST   
Our leaders Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are three kilometres from the second KOM climb.

13:01 CST   
Geoffery thinks tomorrow's stage will cause some issues for the peloton: "No one has really mentioned how tough tomorrows stage is going to be...From my experience riding through the hills of Adelaide, the riders are going to drop like flies."

13:03 CST    60/80 to go
The leaders gap continues to yoyo in the safe zone. Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are now 6.30 minutes ahead of the peloton - which can easily be brought back by the riders.

Whether you like the muscle men's jerseys or not, Team Columbia is at the head of the peloton.

13:08 CST   
My good mate and Cyclingnews contributor Bruce Hildenbrand has also pointed out this race is young Tim Duggan's comeback race. He had that horrific crash in last year's Tour of Georgia - suffering a pretty severe brain injury and was in the hospital for over a month.

I met the Garmin-Slipstream rider in the lift on Sunday (sensing a theme here anyone?) and I must say he's a most delightful young fella - who looks remarkably similar to his teammate Cameron Meyer. Duggan said he was just loving the weather in Australia - consider it a welcome back present mate!

13:10 CST   
Team vehicles are being cautioned as they reach the day's second KOM climb as the crowd is so large. Good to see the Adelaide people are getting out and supporting this event - and soaking up the gorgeous weather.

Just a reminder to all, a major partner in this year's race is Cancer Council SA - remember to slip, slop, slap!

13:12 CST    61/79 to go
The leaders gap has come down substantially over the second KOM climb. The gap has dropped from 6.30 minutes down to 4.35 minutes.

13:21 CST   
Tim has just asked why there isn't a Time Trial in the Tour down under. It's a good question and the answer is logistics. As you know, Australia is a distant island and the expense to bring teams and equipment from Europe and the Americas is pretty high. If teams had to bring Time Trial bikes, in addition to normal road frames, it would double the amount of equipment they need to bring and is therefore cost prohibitive.

That's not to say it will never happen, but it is also less common for the earlier ProTour races in each season to have a Time Trial.

13:23 CST   
Sam thinks Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) could be a winner in this year's young rider competition. It's a prediction I sure wouldn't bet against!

13:25 CST   
Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has claimed the second KOM over Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto). Simon Clarke (UniSA) was the first out of the peloton to cross the line and take third place, followed by Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Bernhard Eisel (Team Columbia).

13:30 CST   
Gerald is also talking logistics and has asked about team cars. These are sourced locally for Tour Down Under - and supplied by event sponsor Skoda Auto. Skoda started out as a bicycle manufacturer in the 1800s before moving into cars and is now owned by the Volkswagen Group whose major shareholder is now Porsche, for all you rev-heads out there.

13:32 CST   
The riders are now on their way to the feed station on Yetti Road. With the heat out there today, I doubt they will be running into any Abominable Snowmen (although, I have been wrong before!).

13:38 CST   
Columbia is leading the peloton so should they come across an Abominable Snowman, I'm backing Greipel to take it out. That guy is like a brick wall.

13:40 CST    79/61 to go
The gap to our leaders continues to decrease, it's now at 2.45 minutes.

13:41 CST   
Ewoud tells me Kai Reus (Rabobank) is also making a comeback at this year's race. Reus, a former Junior Road World Champion crashed in the Alpes while training and was in an induced coma for a month.

13:45 CST   
Simon Clarke (UniSA) took third at the last KOM, the rider spoke to us prior to the start. “We’re going to definitely be attentive for all the breakaways today. We’re just not sure how it’s going to work out. In previous years there’s always been a big group that slips away, but last year being ProTour they definitely raced in a different fashion so it’s a bit hard how to tell whether it’s going to go back to the old ways, but either way we’ve got to be prepared.”

“I think the wind will be a factor today; it’s blowing quite strongly over some sections where teams can commit if they want to do some damage. Today’s more about being attentive, especially for a team like ours and we can see what’s thrown at us.”

13:46 CST    83/57 to go
The gap is sitting at 2.50 minutes - meaning the peloton is holding them at this time. This should allow the peloton to time the catch of the duo to perfection. If they catch the pair two early, it will allow another break to go in the final kilometres, too late and they've stuffed their chances.

13:47 CST   
By holding the riders here the peloton can ensure it will be able to chase down the pair after they've claimed the final sprint points.

13:50 CST   
The gap is down to 2.05 minutes as the peloton reach the feed zone (no reports of snowmen, for the record). We should see the break riders allowed to stay away for another 10 kilometres before being brought back.

13:55 CST   
The readers' favoured friend for today's stage win Robbie McEwen (Katusha) has just stopped on the side of the road. The Australia is swapping bikes.

13:58 CST   
The teams have been cautioned by race radio of a "nasty" corner at the bottom of the descent at kilometre 104, following the final KOM for the day.

13:59 CST   
Matthew Hayman (Rabobank) has rejoined the peloton after a wheel change.

14:01 CST   
News from Cyclinews' man in the field, Les Clarke, is that people are out in numbers for today. Clarke said: "There's huge crowds at Williamstown - I didn't even know that many people lived there."

Fans are lining the streets with 'Go Robbie' and 'Go Lance' banners.

14:07 CST    95.6/44.4 to go
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) took the first two spots at the day's final sprint. Andre Greipel (Team Columbia) has sounded a warning to his rivals by taking third with a sprint out of the peloton.

14:09 CST   
David thinks Julian Dean will win today's stage (no prizes for guessing where David is from) - the Garmin-Slipstream leader has some strong lead out men like Chris Sutton and Cameron Meyer to work with.

14:10 CST   
Teams have again been warned about the upcoming descent to Gawler, where riders will face a fast approach to two right hand corners.

14:15 CST   
Greipel has grabbed a valuable one second time bonus with his third placing in the intermediate sprint. The sprint rewards are as follows:

Intermediate sprints
1 - three seconds, six points
2 - two seconds, four points
3 - one second, two points

1 - ten seconds, eight points
2 - six seconds, six points
3 - four seconds, four points

14:17 CST   
It seems little Master McEwen has heard your calls - his Katusha squad is controlling the action at the front of the peloton.

14:25 CST   
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) and Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) look set to be caught as Columbia and Katusha work together to close the gap. The leaders now have a slim 1.05 minutes over the rest of the peloton.

14:27 CST   
A Silence - Lotto rider has attacked the peloton.

14:30 CST   
Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has attacked the peloton as the gap to the leaders has hit one minutes.

14:34 CST   
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) is now alone at the front, with Jack Bobridge (UniSA) chasing him down.

14:36 CST   
Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has not only caught Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto), but attacked the rider immediately. The new Australian Under 23 Road Champion is clearly keen to show his form to the world.

14:37 CST   
Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has now been caught by the main peloton after 110 kilometres off the front.

14:39 CST   
Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) is now just 500 metres ahead of the peloton.

14:40 CST   
Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has pulled out 1.30 minutes over the peloton as Columbia drives the pace higher to catch the runaway youngster.

14:43 CST    119/21 to go
In just one kilometre the peloton has pulled back the 17 seconds Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) had over it, leaving just Jack Bobridge (UniSA) away.

14:48 CST   
Jack Bobridge's (UniSA) gap has been brought back to just 55 seconds.

14:51 CST    125/15 to go
Well there's some good news for followers of the Lance circus. The tenacious Texan said a failure in his comeback would be being dropped on today's climbs - but 125 kilometres in and the seven time Tour de France winner is still with the peloton.

14:54 CST   
Fans in Gawler were going crazy as Jack Bobridge (UniSA) passed through his home town in the race lead.

14:57 CST   
With 10 kilometres remaining, Jack Bobridge (UniSA) holds a 40 second lead.

14:58 CST   
Remy di Gregorio (Francaise des Jeux) has returned to the peloton after swapping bikes.

15:00 CST   
Officials have announced that early breakaway rider Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) will be rewarded for his efforts with today's Most Aggressive Rider jersey.

15:01 CST    132/8 to go
Jack Bobridge (UniSA) is set to be caught on the flat run into Mawson Lakes, with the youngster now holding a slim 30 second lead.

15:04 CST   
Jack Bobridge's narrow margin is getting smaller by the kilometre. The UniSA rider looks certain to be caught as the peloton flies into Mawson Lakes for what is set to be a sprint finish.

15:04 CST   
Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has been caught by the peloton.

15:06 CST   
The finish is flat and wide going into Mawson Lakes, perfect for several trains of riders to vie for the win.

15:07 CST   
Liquigas has moved to the front with Columbia as the riders enter the final three kilometres.

15:08 CST   
Team Columbia again has the front of the group, can they make up for the loss on Sunday night for Greipel?

15:09 CST   
Rabobank is moving forward as the race entres its last kilometre.

15:11 CST   
Team Columbia has the lead heading home. Greipel looks set to take the win.

15:11 CST   
Greipel is sure to take it, making up for last Sunday's loss for Columbia.

15:11 CST   
Greipel claims victory in a close sprint, with Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) taking second position.

15:12 CST   
Baden Cooke (UniSA) has taken third place while Jacopo Guanieri (Liquigas) takes finishes fourth.

15:16 CST   
Well, there you have it ladies and gentlemen, a young Aussie in Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has done his hometown proud in the last half of the race while defending champion Andre Greipel (Team Columbia) has claimed a stage victory.

15:20 CST   
Thanks for joining me for today's stage. We will be back at 11 AM local time tomorrow to do it all again. Tomorrow's Stage 2 is expected to be a tough one which should see the general classification given a shake.

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