Lotto Soudal’s Andre Greipel from Germany won stage one of the Tour Down Under, which took cyclists on a 145km journey from Port Adelaide to Lyndoch in Australia today.
Greipel won the final bunch sprint in 3:50:21. Mitchelton-Scott’s Caleb Ewan (Australia) came second and Bora-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan (Slovakia) third.
South African Nicholas Dlamini, who aimed to step up to the next level before the race, shon on debut for Team Dimension Data when he won the King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey.
Dlamini said DiData’s tactics for the stage paid off on the day. “The plan was always for me to make the break and take the mountains jersey.
“I have the best kick in the team in that regard, so I’m happy it all went according to plan.”
The stage race started off calmly, Dlamini recalled.
“It was very relaxed, especially after the peloton just let us go after we attacked in the beginning. Will Clarke [Cannondale-Drapac] then also made a move, so I had to keep an eye on him. But he was a really good guy to ride alongside.”
For the rest of the tour, Dlamini said the team have bigger plans for teammate Tom Slagter from Netherlands.
“We have bigger objectives for Tom and the general classification,” he said. “We’ll have to see what happens about keeping the jersey (KOM), but it’s great to have it for now.
“This is the highest level of the sport so I am really excited to be wearing a leader’s jersey in my first race. I hope for more during the rest of the season,” he added.
The DiData rider first made headlines when he won the King of the Mountains title at the Baby Giro last year.
Fellow South African and 947 Cycle Challenge champion Daryl Impey, who rode for Mitchelton-Scott, finished the race in 13th.
View more results below.
Stage one results
1. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal, Germany) 3:50:21
2. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott, Australia)
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe, Slovakia)
4. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors, Italy)
5. Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates, Italy)
6. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb, Germany)
7. Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin, Australia)
8. Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale, Italy)
9. Ramunas Navardauskas (Bahrain-Merida, Lithuania)
10. Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team, Italy)