Germany's Andre Greipel claimed an early psychological advantage when he stormed to victory in the 50km Down Under Classic street cycling race in Adelaide on Sunday.
The Team High Road rider held off Australian Mark Renshaw with a well-judged sprint to win the warm-up race for the Tour Down Under, which starts on Tuesday.
Australian ace sprinter Robbie McEwen was third, with compatriot Allan Davis following home in fourth.
The win proved a timely boost for Team High Road, who lost their long-term sponsor T-Mobile late last year after the German telecommunications giant became disillusioned with doping scandals surrounding the sport.
The six-stage Tour starts on Tuesday with a 129km race from Mawson Lakes to Angaston in the Barossa Valley.
© AFP 2008