ADELAIDE - Cycling legend Lance Armstrong showed strong form in the Cancer Council Helpline Classic yesterday in their debut race.
But that was before Britain's all-new Team Sky stormed to a one-two finish.
Armstrong and fellow Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro's breakaway was reeled in with just three laps to go as Sky's Greg Henderson and Chris Sutton took the honours in the pre-Tour Down Under street event.
Sky obliterated HSC-Columbia on the last lap, leaving Germany's Andre Greipel in third, to send out an ominous warning to their UCI ProTour rivals in front of 108000 Adelaide fans.
The team aims to build on Britain's 2008 Olympics success by producing the country's first ever Tour de France winner.
Meanwhile, Armstrong said he felt a vast improvement from the 2009 Classic, which was his first official race in three-and-a- half years.
The American is in the second year of his comeback from retirement and is aiming for an eighth Tour de France crown, which would also make him its oldest winner at 38.
Australia's Robbie McEwen finished fourth for Katusha while reigning Tour Down Under champion Allan Davis of Australia was seventh in the 30-lap, 51-km event.
The Classic is a separate prelude to the six-stage, 800km Tour Down Under, which starts tomorrow. - Sapa-AFP