ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Two-time champion Andre Greipel of Germany overcame fierce crosswinds and soaring temperatures to win the 90-mile first stage on the Tour Down Under cycle race on Tuesday.
Greipel beat Allesandro Pettachi of Italy narrowly in a sprint finish in 102-degree temperatures to claim his ninth stage victory in the six-stage race, the opening event of the UCI World Tour.
The sprint ace also won the tour's criterium prelude on Sunday for the Belgium-based Lotto-Belisol team. He won the Tour Down Under in 2008 and 2010.
Petacchi took second place Tuesday for the Lampre-ISD team, while Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus was third and Fabio Sabatini of Italy fourth.