Tasmanian Matthew Goss confirmed his overall victory pretensions by winning the opening stage of the Tour Down Under yesterday ahead of sprint rival and reigning champion Andre Greipel.
Germany’s Greipel, who has won the overall title twice, finished in second place for his new team Omega-Pharma with Australian Robbie McEwen of RadioShack in third.
The first stage was marked by an early five-man breakaway on the 138km leg from Mawson Lakes to Angaston in the hilly wine region outside Adelaide.
The break was reeled in with less than 10km remaining, guaranteeing a bunch 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 event, the Australian having also won the pre-race 51 km criterium on Sunday which does not count toward the race standings.
Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven Tour de France yellow jerseys, will bring the curtain down on his career when the race finishes in Adelaide on Sunday.
The American finished in the same time as most of the field, but kept safely out of danger as the fast men of the peloton wound up their final dash for the line.
After some textbook lead-out work by his team, 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,” Goss said.
Greipel quit the HTC-Highroad team last year in a bid to relaunch a career that has been affected by the dominance of former teammate Mark Cavendish, who was deservedly the team’s marquee sprinter.
The German admitted his opening sprint of the season did not quite go as planned.
“With around 400m to go I got a little bit boxed in, so I had to start my sprint early,” he said. “Then Gossy came up [beside me], so I had to relaunch my sprint again.”
“Goss is the strongest guy here so far, but this was a good warm-up and finishing second is a good confidence boost for me and the team,” Greipel added.
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 other teams on 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.
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic