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Andrew Greipel wins stage 1 of 2014 World Ports Classic

The big German sprinter takes the kickoff to the two-stage World Ports Classic in Antwerp

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André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the first stage of the World Ports Classic on Saturday in Antwerp.

An early three-man break — Ronan Van Zandbeek (Cyclingteam de Rijke), Dries Hollanders (Metec-TKH) and Andreas Stauff (MTN-Qhubeka) — came to naught with 55km to go in the 195km leg from Rotterdam to Antwerp, as did a second attempt featuring Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Shimano), Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) and Jesper Asselman (Metec).

Finally, after a last-ditch effort in the final 6km by Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Tijmen Eising (Metec), Greipel’s Lotto squad led him out for the win ahead of Alexander Porsev (Katusha) and Theo Bos (Belkin).

The World Ports Classic concludes Sunday with stage 2, a 160.5km leg from Antwerp back to Rotterdam.