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Martin Kohler was part of a four-man breakaway for nearly the entire opening stage. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Martin Kohler was part of a four-man breakaway for nearly the entire opening stage. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Tour Down Under, Stage 1: Kohler In The Break

17. January 2012

Clare, South Australia

Martin Kohler put the BMC Racing Team in the spotlight on a hot and windy opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. The Swiss national time trial champion spent 130 kilometers in a four-man breakaway before his group was brought back with 12 km to go.

Blythe Involved In Crash

Kohler did win both time bonus sprints along the 149 km route, moving him into third overall behind stage winner André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), who won in a photo finish over Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD). "I was feeling quite good in the criterium two days ago and the first attack was a successful one," Kohler said. "I remembered how two years ago I did the same thing. So it was good to be in the front and think about the general classification. It's always good in a race like this to get some bonus seconds." The BMC Racing Team's designated sprinter, Adam Blythe, was one of a number of riders caught up in a crash inside the final kilometer. Blythe suffered minor road rash, but was not seriously hurt. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said other than the crash, it was a good start to the six-day race. "It was unfortunate we had bad luck with Adam because he told me he was feeling good," Verbrugghe said. "What Martin did today was good for the team and good motivation to try to do something. Our team has a good mentality."

Click here to view photos from the race: flic.kr/s/aHsjy88MJV