Adelaide - Germany's Andre Greipel laid down a marker for the Tour Down Under when he powered to victory in the race's prologue in Adelaide Sunday.
Greipel, a two-time winner of the season-opening tour, overpowered Australian Matthew Goss in the last 100 metres to win the 51km criterium through the city's Rymill Park.
Greipel's Lotto Berisol team-mate Greg Henderson, who led the big German out with 400 metres to go, held on to finish third.
Australian Zak Dempster and German veteran Jens Voigt had earlier attacked on the opening lap and quickly opened a break on the peloton.
The pair extended the lead to 59 seconds after 10 laps, but soon after that the peloton began its move, led largely by Lotto Berisol's Olivier Kaisen, and reeled the breakaways in on the 22nd lap.
Greipel positioned himself perfectly in the closing laps and stormed home to a clear win over Orica GreenEDGE's Goss.
The race proper begins on Tuesday with a 135km stage from Prospect in the city's north to the town of Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills.
The Tour Down Under, the opening leg of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, is taking place in the wake of Lance Armstrong's confession during an interview with Oprah Winfrey to systematic doping.
Results on Sunday from the 51km criterium prelude to the Tour Down Under:
1. Andre Greipel, Germany, Lotto Belisol, 1 hour, 4 minutes, 1 second.
2. Matthew Goss, Australia, Orica GreenEDGE, same time.
3. Greg Henderson, New Zealand, Lotto Belisol, same time.
4. Boy Van Poppel, Netherlands, Vaconsoleil DCM, same time.
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Norway, Sky Pro Cycling, 2 seconds behind.
6. Davide Cimolai, Italy, Lampre-Merida, same time.
7. Steele Von Hoff, Australia, Garmin-Sharp, same time.
8. Jose Joaquin Rojas, Spain, Moistar, same time.
9. Anthony Giacoppo, Australia, UniSA, same time.
10. Yauheni Hutarovich, Belarus, AG2R La Mondiale, same time.
17. Tyler Farrar, United States, Garmin-Sharp, same time.
68. Andy Schleck, Luxembourg, RadioShack, 25 seconds behind.
69. Philippe Gilbert, Belgium, BMC, same time.