It was an Australian clean sweep at the 2011 Cancer Council Classic with HTC-Highroad teammates Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw taking 1st and 2nd respectively. Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) took 3rd.
The 51km race was shaped by a breakaway from Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Luke Durbridge (Uni-SA) and Martin Mortensen (Leopard Trek). But they were swept up with five laps to go.
The expected showdown between Mark Cavendish and defending champion Andre Greipel did not materialise due a crash in the last lap. Both riders finished down the field. Mark Renshaw made it through the chaos and provided the perfect lead out for Matt Goss. Renshaw held on for second.
“It’s a great start and I’m very happy. Great for me, great for the team and a great start to the Tour Down Under,” Goss told local radio immediately after his win.
“We had it under control we kept the break at a reasonable distance. Our team and Omega Pharma-Lotto did a great to control the race and we were lucky to finish it of. We’ve got enough power (at HTC) to turn the earth off its axis.”
The Tour Down Under gets underway on Tuesday 18 January. I cant wait to see the Cavendish Greipel battle and what Lance Armstrong can do in his final international tour.
Image courtesy CJFoto.com