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Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Greg Henderson continues fine start in Tour Down Under

Andre Greipel celebrates winning the second stage in Australia
Lance Armstrong says Andre Greipel is the man to beat in Australia

Team Sky's Greg Henderson maintained his challenge in the Tour Down Under by finishing second in Wednesday's second stage in Australia.

The 33-year-old New Zealander finished behind Germany's Andre Greipel, who claimed his second straight stage win.

Greipel, the 2008 winner, is now 14 seconds clear of Henderson and Belgium's Team RadioShack rider Gert Steegmans in the overall standings.

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong came home in 48th place.

The stage, which started in Gawler, began with a breakaway from Australian David Kemp, Frenchman Michael Delage and Belgium's Olivier Kaisen breaking away.

They led by almost 12 minutes at one point but Greipel's Columbia team-mates controlled the peloton to bring the trio into the main group.


Greipel then managed to get himself into position to win a frantic sprint to the line in Hahndorf.

"I am surprised how tired I am today," he said. "Even with the break we were happy to let it go out to eight minutes or more because we could claw back the time.

"In the end it was like the finish [in Hahndorf] two years ago I waited a long time again before starting my sprint and we won again."

Henderson's finish continues the fine start to the season made by new British cycling outfit Team Sky.

Henderson and team-mate Chris Sutton made it a Team Sky one-two in their first race last Sunday - the Cancer Council Helpline Classic - which acts as a warm-up for the Tour Down Under.

"It was a good lead out again but Robbie McEwen was on a bit of a mission today," Henderson told the team's website.

"He was a bit desperate. He bashed me off CJ [Sutton]'s wheel. I tried to wait and wait as long as I could but I got bashed left, bashed right, and I lost my lead out.

"Greipel came from behind and I kept his wheel but all I could do was get up to his back wheel. I passed about four guys in the last 50 metres."

Armstrong, racing in Australia with his new Radioshack team, is using the event as a launching pad for his bid for an eighth Tour de France title.

The 38-year-old American admitted Greipel was in pole position for the current event, but said there were some tough challenges ahead.

"It's never over," he said. "You've got a finish like tomorrow, you've got Willunga (stage 5), you've got some hard days. So no, it's not over.

"Greipel is obviously showing great form, he's been here for weeks, probably doing some racing and some intense training. He's definitely the man to beat."

Thursday's third stage is a 132.5km ride from Unley to Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.

Tour Down Under - Stage Two result:
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia - 3 hrs, 23 mins, 49 secs
2 Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha
4 Robert Hunter (SA) Garmin
5 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
6 Allan Davis (Aus) Astana
7 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
8 Luke Roberts (Aus) Milram
9 Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank
10 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Sp) Caisse d'Epargne

Selected others:
27 Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky - same time
48 Lance Armstrong (US) RadioShack - same time

Overall standings:
1 Greipel - 6:38:59
2 Henderson - @ 14 seconds
3 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team RadioShack - same time
4 McEwen - @ 16 secs
5 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto - same time
6 Wyss - @ 20 secs
7 Brown - same time
8 Cooke - same time
9 Hunter - same time
10 Joaquin Rojas - same time

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see also
Henderson fifth on opening stage
19 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Team Sky make stunning race debut
17 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Team Sky ready for action
15 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins eyes Team Sky Tour win
04 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Dispute as Swift lined up by Sky
06 Dec 09 |  Cycling
Team Sky announce Wiggins capture
10 Dec 09 |  Cycling

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