People's Choice Classic: Adelaide's East End - Adelaide's East End
Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) claimed his first win of the 2015 season with a comprehensive victory in the People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide on Sunday. The German sprinter finished off a fine leadout from his team to beat Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Wouter Wippert (Drapac) to the line.
In a thrilling opener to the Tour Down Under, Kittel blew away the winter cobwebs in what proved to be chaotic and frantic dash for the line.
Giant-Alpecin, the favourites to take the win, were forced to fend off a number of challengers in the sprint but held their nerve with an excellent ride from Koen de Kort managing to drop Kittel off with 200 meters to go.
"It's actually almost impossible to control the bunch in such a short race but my team mates did an awesome job," Kittel said after the race. "In the chaos I got a good lead out. I'm very happy and proud. I'm always nervous before the first race of the year. I also always want to win the first race of the year. This is my third time in South Australia. I really like this place. I like it even more when I win like today."
After weeks of build-up and the Australian Nationals providing an indicator of home grown form, it was time for the European elite to strut their stuff in downtown Adelaide. However it was the Australian domestic teams who made the early impressions on the race with a volley of attacks from Drapac and UniSA-Australia.
There is rarely a chance to recover in criteriums and so it proved, with the bunch duly lined out in the opening minutes of the 30 lap event.
The first significant move came when Lars Boom instigated an attack. He was quickly joined by an in-form Miles Scotson (UniSA-Australia), who took the first intermediate sprint after five laps.
The pair were swiftly sucked back in before Matt Hayman (Orica GreenEdge) then laid down a marker after 8 laps with former teammate Peter Kennaugh giving chase. Dario Cataldo (Astana) latched on along with Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing) and soon the four riders established the break of the race.
It was Hayman who won the second intermediate sprint but once again the sprint for the line briefly broke any harmony within the break. They were held at 11 seconds as Kittel’s Giant-Alpecin team monitored the situation on the front of the field.
After 14 laps the foursome had pushed out to a 20 second buffer and it was Hayman who once again picked up the 500 Euro purse a lap later for the third intermediate sprint.
With ten laps remaining Giant-Alpecin formed a long train on the front of the field as up ahead Kennaugh finally picked up his first sprint of the evening.
Soon Kittel’s team were joined by Lampre, and a host of other teams on the front of the peloton, with the lead dropping to just ten seconds in less than half a lap of racing. With eight laps remaining the four leaders were caught, as Lotto and IAM Cycling, with their hopes pinned on new Australian road champion, Heinrich Haussler, moving to the front of the peloton.
Geraint Thomas launched a move with six laps left but it was Etixx-Quickstep who responded, with Mark Renshaw and Gianni Meersman neatly tucked in.
Thomas was put to the sword within a lap of the action but with five to go Team Sky marshalled themselves, and notably, Chris Sutton, to the head of affairs as speeds reached over 50 kilometres per hour. Sutton and Sky won this event during the team’s debut season in 2010 but they were caught short in the closing laps, running out of ammo as a number of teams began to assert their control.
Michael Rogers dragged his Tinkoff Saxo team to the front but Giant-Alpecin were never far from the action and duly moved towards the front inside the final three laps. They were joined by a determined IAM Cycling team and Drapac.
Behind the leadouts the fight began as sprinter after sprinter jostled for Kittel’s wheel. Greg Henderson won that battle and for the briefest of moment it looked as though Kittel’s defensives could be over-run with Sutton, Haussler and Meersman all in contention.
However just as Kittel opened the gas a number of riders began to fade and the German was left with time to celebrate as Lobato and Wippert secured their places on the podium.
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|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin||1:02:41|
|2||Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team|
|3||Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|4||Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky|
|5||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling|
|6||Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|7||Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha|
|8||Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|9||Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|10||Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Soudal|
|11||Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
|12||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing|
|13||Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto-Soudal|
|14||Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|15||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|16||Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|17||Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|18||Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing|
|19||Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|20||Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha|
|21||Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|22||Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|23||Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|24||Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|25||Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|26||Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|27||Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge|
|28||Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|29||Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team|
|30||Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team|
|31||Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|32||Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha|
|33||Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team|
|34||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team|
|35||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team|
|36||Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team|
|37||Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|38||Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|39||Thomas De Gent (Bel) Lotto-Soudal|
|40||Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|41||Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge|
|42||Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team|
|43||Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|44||Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|45||Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling|
|46||Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Soudal|
|47||Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|48||Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|49||Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|50||Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|51||Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling|
|52||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|53||Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing|
|54||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|55||Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling|
|56||Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|57||Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|58||Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team|
|59||Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|60||Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr|
|61||Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|62||Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Team|
|63||Lars Bak (Den) Lotto-Soudal|
|64||David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|65||Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team|
|66||Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|67||Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|68||Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team Katusha|
|69||Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|70||Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|71||Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|72||Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|73||Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|74||Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling|
|75||Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida|
|76||Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|77||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky|
|78||Campbell Flakemore (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|79||Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|80||Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling|
|81||Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|82||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale|
|83||Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|84||Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|85||Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha|
|86||Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha|
|87||Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|88||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|89||Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|90||Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing|
|91||Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto-Soudal||0:00:22|
|92||Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha||0:00:24|
|93||William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|94||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|95||Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|96||Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|97||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|98||Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|99||Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|100||Ian Stannards (GBr) Team Sky|
|101||George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo|
|102||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|103||Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-Merida|
|104||Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|105||Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky|
|106||Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|107||Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing|
|108||Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing|
|109||Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|110||Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|111||Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|112||Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto-Soudal|
|113||Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team|
|114||Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing|
|115||Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
|116||Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.fr||0:00:34|
|117||Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky||0:00:41|
|118||José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team|
|119||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida||0:00:43|
|120||Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr||0:01:32|
|121||Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:01:37|
|122||Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky|
|123||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky||0:01:45|
|124||Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida||0:01:53|
|125||Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
|126||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||0:01:58|
|127||Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|128||Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:02:01|
|129||David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling|
|130||Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia||0:04:12|
|DNF||Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Alpecin|
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