The big sprint head-to-head that wasn’t
Greipel wins. Take that, pedals!
Andre Greipel won stage four of the Tour Down Under after 95km, even though it was a 148.5km stage. This is when the race hit the Reservoir Road climb in Myponga. He made it to the top in the main group. Marcel Kittel didn’t.
It wasn’t so much the climb that split the bunch as the fierce approach and a bit of a crosswind. Either way, Kittel would have had to have sprinted bloody well to have taken the win, what with being 14 minutes behind the leaders when the finishing line approached.
Without Kittel the sprint wasn’t hotly contested. In fact, second-place was Greipel’s team-mate, Jurgen Roelandts. In the general classification, Simon Gerrans picked up five bonus seconds via the two intermediate sprints to close the gap on Cadel Evans.
A summit finish. Old Willunga Hill is 3km at an average of 7.5% and they actually climb it twice. The 10-second bonus at the top might prove valuable to those looking to take the lead, but Cadel Evans looks by far the strongest climber in the race. He bezzed up the 9% Corkscrew Road climb at an average speed of 24km/h (15mph).