Tasmanian Matthew Goss (HTC - Highroad) has stormed home to win the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.
Goss sprinted home at the end of the 138km IG Markets Stage One from Mawson Lakes to the Barossa town of Angaston in a time of 3:17:08 with defending Tour champion, Andre Greipel (GER / Omega Pharma-Lotto) second and Queensland's Robbie McEwen (Radioshack) close behind in third place.
The win by the 24 year old comes two days after he outpaced the same world class field of international sprint heavyweights in the Cancer Council Classic on Sunday night.
"I am really happy to get the win for me and the team (because) they rode all day it's for them," said Goss. "Two for two, great for team moral and spirit, a good few days I think."
In close to perfect conditions, 133 riders set off from
The first attack of the day came early as a small group broke clear to contest the Skoda King of the Mountain climb at Hillbank, eleven kilometres into the stage.
South Australian Luke Roberts claimed the points and the lead in the KOM classification with
Soon after the climb a group of five riders established a lead over the peloton. Australians Simon Clarke (Astana) and Mitch Docker (UniSA-Australia) along with Spaniards Miguel Minguez and Jon Izaguirre, both of Euskaltel-Euskadi and French rider Mathieu Perget (AG2R la Mondiale) contested both Jayco Intermediate sprints of the day.
Docker won the first contest at
The break edged out to four minutes before the peloton began to peg it back. The sprinter's teams, led by HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish (GBR) had closed the gap to two minutes as the riders crossed under the finishing arch at Angaston to begin two laps of the
Over the final thirty kilometres, Greipel's Omega Pharma-Lotto team and
Renshaw did what he does best, setting a cracking pace on the front to lead out his team mate who waited until the line was in sight to slingshot from Renshaw's wheel and claim the win leaving his rivals in his wake.
"It was a long sprint out of the last corner so I was 'kinda' worried, but Renshaw did a great job," explained Goss, adding "He got me to
Despite the blistering form he's displayed this week and at the Australian Championships earlier this month where he claimed the silver medal Goss has downplayed any early suggestions of an overall victory.
"It is an ideal start but there is a lot of days left of racing. I am in a good position now but it isn't just me, in the team.
"Cav is still one of the fastest guys here (and) I am sure we will see him, if not in the next couple of days (then) before the end of the race," said Goss of his sprint superstar team mate Mark Cavendish.
Goss goes into the second stage wearing the
Clarke was named the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive Rider for the stage and Sky Pro Cycling is leading the Brilliant Blend Teams Classification. Roberts leads the Skoda King of the Mountain competition.
Tomorrow's IG Markets Stage 2 will see the riders cover