Devastating sprint gives Greipel stage win

Updated 23 January 2013
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Devastating sprint gives Greipel stage win

ADELAIDE: Two-time champion Andre Greipel launched a devastating sprint with 300 meters to go to easily win the opening stage of the World Tour season-opening Tour Down Under yesterday.
Greipel powered home by a bike length from Frenchman Arnaud Demare and Mark Renshaw of Australia and claim a record-equaling 12th stage win at the Tour Down Under.
The big German won the 135km stage from Prospect to the Adelaide Hills town of Lobethal in 3hr 35min 24sec to move equal with Australia’s Robbie McEwen for the most stage wins.
As in the prologue on Sunday, Greipel’s win was set up by the dominant performance of his Lotto Berisol team, which took control a kilometer from the finish to give their team leader the perfect launch pad.
“The guys made it look easy for me,” Greipel said. “They kept me out of the wind. It was really hard for them, I know, but I trust these guys — I know they are really strong and we did it again.
“It’s a good thing to do, to win the first World Tour race.” Greipel said he had been feeling strong as the race reached its final stages.
“I just had some power left. I looked to the back and saw the guys had done a really fast lead out and the bunch was strung out,” he said.
“I looked over my shoulder and I thought they were going to start the sprint any time now, so I just kicked.” The race began in near-perfect conditions in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, with local team UniSA’s Jordan Kerby breaking away immediately in a group of three, which was quickly gathered in by the peloton.




But Kerby, 20, attacked again and pulled away, opening a gap of seven minutes after 16 kilometers.



“It could have been a bit of nerves, I was a bit excited getting into my first World Tour race,” Kerby said.
“UniSA always try and be a bit aggressive and I thought ‘Why not?’” The peloton were never concerned by a lone rider out front and slowly began to reel him in, but not before Kerby had claimed the King of the Mountains points and two of the first three sprints.
With 36 kilometers to go, Frenchman Jerome Pineau from Omega Pharma-Quick-Step broke away from the peloton and went straight past Kerby, who dropped back to the main group.
They were all back together with 15 kilometers to go, with the race set up perfectly for the sprinters.


Movistar’s Jose Rojas Gil tried to break up the field when he launched an attack on the last climb with eight kilometers to go, but his move was countered by Lotto Berisol and Sky Procycling.
Sky Procycling pushed to the front to try and set the race up for their sprinter, Edvald Boasson Hagen. But with just over a kilometer to go Lotto Berisol made their move, sweeping to the lead with a decisive attack.
Demare finished strongly, but conceded he was never going to catch Greipel.
“I should have gone earlier, but even if I had I think I was only going to finish on his wheel,” he said.
Wednesday’s second stage is a 116.5km journey from Mt Barker to Rostrevor and takes in the tour’s newest climb, the Corkscrew.


Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

Updated 23 April 2018
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Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

  • Young Scottish star was very impressive during Liverpool's 5-1 aggregate destruction of Man City in last-eight clash.
  • Robertson refuses to take Roma lightly after their shock victory over Barcelona in the last round.

LIVERPOOL: With a desire stoked in the stands of Parkhead, Andrew Robertson is now fired up to fulfil a childhood dream.
While following the fortunes of Celtic, the defender’s first Champions League final memory was when Zinedine Zidane volleyed Real Madrid to success in 2002 as the contest was staged in Robertson’s home city of Glasgow. He was just eight years old.
While Robertson was deemed too small to play for his boyhood idols, released at 15 with a future uncertain, he has grown to prove his worth on Europe’s biggest club stage with Liverpool.
Now, with a semifinal encounter against AS Roma after beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the last eight, he wants to emulate those Reds heroes who lifted the trophy five times before.
“I was a big Celtic fan growing up and my heroes were Henrik Larsson and Co,” Robertson told Arab News ahead of tonight’s first-leg clash 
at Anfield.
“But these heroes who have won the European Cup and Champions League for Liverpool, you have to look up to them — and we want to emulate them and hopefully get a winner’s medal too.
“The club’s won it five times and the history of the club has always been this, the Champions League, where the fans create a special atmosphere and the club challenges for the trophy. It would be unbelievable to be a part of that history.
“This is the highlight for me so far and an incredible feeling, but it just makes you hungry for more. I don’t want it to end.
“As a kid, you sit back and watch how great it would be to play in this competition, let alone in the final.
“I always used to go to Celtic and we didn’t progress very far in the Champions League, but the occasions at Parkhead were always unbelievable.
“The fans at Celtic are incredible, world renowned, but Anfield was unbelievable against Man City and we have another chance for them to create that same atmosphere and hopefully we can put in another great performance.”
Having beaten Pep Guardiola’s City so convincingly, 5-1 over two gripping games, Liverpool will start favorites against Roma.
That is despite the Italians upsetting Barcelona in the previous round with an epic 3-0 win in the second leg after a 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
But Robertson will take nothing for granted against a Roma side who last reached the final in 1984 where they were beaten by Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their Stadio Olimpico home.
“Barca are an unbelievable team,” added the Scotland left-back, 24. “But let’s not kid ourselves. For Roma to score three goals against Barcelona, that’s special.
“They’ve been unbelievable this season too in the Champions League and deserve to be in the semifinals. It will definitely not be an easy game.
“But once you get to the semis, the fear of who you are playing has gone because you know how good the teams are.
“It’s like you look forward to the possibility of playing in the final, that’s what drives you forward. We will have fire in our bellies because we are so close to getting there.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men will no doubt be looking to Mohamed Salah to conjure more magic against the club he left in the summer for £36.9 million ($51.5 million).
But Robertson insisted Liverpool are no one-man team and the Egyptian, crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 41 goals in an unforgettable campaign, epitomizes a team united and ambitious in their quest for glory.
“He’s just unbelievable,” said Robertson of the frontman.
“In the first half (of the second leg) against Man City we struggled to get him in the game and he wasn’t quite at it. But the second half he was different class and pops up with a goal to help us win it. That’s what he does.
“His goals have been incredible and long may that continue. He’s a great guy, so humble, and for someone who has done so much this season he’s so down to Earth.
“That’s credit to our squad because we don’t let anyone get ahead of themselves.
“Mo is no different, he’s a lovely person and stands for what we are as a team.”

 

HEART OF GOLD

Five years ago Andrew Robertson was playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football with Queen’s Park and earning extra money by selling concert tickets in the corporate offices at Hampden Park.
Last summer he suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City before Liverpool signed him for £10 million ($13.9 million).
In a career fraught with setbacks and hardships, he has been grateful, supporting foodbanks that help those in need.
“It’s all about giving something back to the less fortunate,” said Robertson.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I do a job I love and get paid well and it’s nice to give something back, especially in my hometown. I’ll always do that.
“It’s been a great journey for me in my career, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. But I don’t forget where I came from. Maybe it is rare, but a lot more people are doing it now and I hope even more will.”