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The Gorilla unleashes his power at Tour Down Under

He wins stage 1 with a powerful sprint on his Noah SL
The first World Tour race of the year has immediately brought success to Lotto Soudal. André Greipel, also known as the Gorilla, unleashed his power at 100m from the finish line and the German drove his Noah SL straight to his first win of the season. Tomorrow he will start in Unley wearing the Ochre leader’s Jersey (video below).

The whole World Tour peloton moved to Southern Australia for the inaugural race of the 2018 cycling season. After the team presentations, meet-ups with local kangaroos and sponsor visits prior to the start in sunlit Adelaide, 130 riders took off for a 145 km journey to Lyndoch.

The peloton seemed to enjoy the sun as the race was paced to rather low speeds. Three riders got inspired for the early breakaway, but all they were able to do was to battling for the KOM jersey. At 10 km from the finish line the last rider was caught by the bunch.

Five teams seemed to be strong enough to battle for the first win. Mitchelton-Scott had Caleb Ewan, who won all 4 sprint stages last year, but also Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and Greipel (Lotto Soudal) already have proven in the past to be capable of winning bunch sprints. On top of that Sunweb had Bauhaus or Arndt to sprint for victory. Bennett faced technical problems, so Bora appointed world champion Sagan for the battle. Ewan told before the race his team was even stronger than last year and they put the little Aussie in the best position. Quick-Step did the same with Viviani. Both riders went on, but at 100m from the finish line Greipel started to accelerate and the German passed everyone in the middle of the road. After finishing second in the People’s Choice Classic the Gorilla now defeated the whole pack and put Ewan and Sagan 2nd and 3th. That way Greipel will wear the Ochre leader’s Jersey tomorrow from Unley until Stirling. No better way to start the season!

Have a look at Greipel's powerful sprint