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Philippe Gilbert won the third intermediate sprint to secure a spot in the top 10 overall. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Philippe Gilbert won the third intermediate sprint to secure a spot in the top 10 overall. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Santos Tour Down Under, Stage 1: Gilbert Chases Time Bonuses

22. January 2013

André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) won the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under Tuesday while BMC Racing Team world road champion Philippe Gilbert stands fifth overall on the strength of winning an intermediate time bonus.

Attacked One Kilometer Out
Greipel (Lotto Belisol) easily took the bunch sprint to pull on the ochre race leader's jersey while earning his 12th career stage win at the race. More surprising was Gilbert's attack to win the last of three Jayco Sprints 17 kilometers from the finish of the 135 km race, earning him a three-second time bonus. The BMC Racing Team set it up by helping with the chase of UniSA's Jordan Kerby, who soloed away from the peloton and built a more than seven-minute lead before being caught with about 40 km to go. "We were pushing because Simon Gerrans took three seconds, so I was pushing to do it also because I didn't want to lose time on him," Gilbert said. "When I saw he got second on the first one, I told myself I must do something. (For the second sprint) we were too early in the front with the headwind and I wasn't in the best position, so I stopped. The last one, I attacked a little bit more than one kilometer to the line and surprised them." Gilbert is seven seconds off the overall lead heading into Wednesday's 116.5 km stage.

Click here to listen to Gilbert's complete comments on the BMC Racing Team AudioLine.