German cyclist wins second Tour Down Under

Germany's Andre Greipel clinched an emphatic second Tour Down Under victory on Sunday, just a year after he spectacularly crashed out of the race.

German cyclist wins second Tour Down Under
Photo: DPA

The big HTC-Columbia rider ended the final stage fifth, preserving his overall lead of 11 seconds behind Chris Sutton and Greg Henderson’s one-two finish for Team Sky.

“I’m really happy, and for the team as well,” Greipel said. “The team did a really good job the last week. I’m just really happy.”

American cycling legend Lance Armstrong, who is building towards this year’s Tour de France, started the day 47 seconds adrift and did not finish among the leaders.

Greipel, 27, bombed out of last year’s race when as defending champion, he ploughed into a parked police motorbike and spent four months out with shoulder surgery.

He has dominated this week, claiming the first two stages with trademark sprint finishes and then eclipsing an Armstrong attack with another powerful dash on day four.

The six-stage Tour Down Under, raced over 800 kilometres (500 miles) of road around Adelaide, has grown into one of Australia’s biggest sporting events attracting hundreds of thousands of fans.

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German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said Tuesday after a meeting of officials from Germany's 16 states.

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season
Germany fans at the recent Euro 2020 match in London. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

Most matches in Germany’s top football league were played behind closed doors last season – so-called Geisterspiele or ghost games – because of the Covid-19 virus.

The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13th and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000.

The only exception is reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, where up to 20,000 fans will be allowed into home games at the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena because officials in Bavaria are allowing only 35 percent of capacity.

The new rules apply until September 11 and amid concerns in Germany about the Delta variant of the coronavirus, incidence rates must not exceed 35 new infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days.

READ ALSO: German states call for uniform Covid rules at big events

If that happens, and “the infection cannot be clearly contained”, a maximum of 5,000 spectators will be allowed into sports events, German officials warned.

Only fans who can prove they are vaccinated or present a negative test will be allowed into stadiums and hygiene rules must be followed.

An easing of the regulations meant crowds of around 14,000 were allowed to attend Euro 2020 matches at Munich’s Allianz Arena over the last three weeks, but fans were largely kept out of German league games last season.