Marcel Kittel wins People's Choice Classic

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."

Early attacks
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) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin1:02:41
2Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Chris Sutton (Aus) Team SkyRow 3 - Cell 2
5Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 5 - Cell 2
7Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team KatushaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 8 - Cell 2
10Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-SoudalRow 9 - Cell 2
11Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto-SoudalRow 12 - Cell 2
14Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 13 - Cell 2
15Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 14 - Cell 2
16Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 15 - Cell 2
17Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 17 - Cell 2
19Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.frRow 18 - Cell 2
20Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team KatushaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 22 - Cell 2
24Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdgeRow 26 - Cell 2
28Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 27 - Cell 2
29Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 30 - Cell 2
32Tiago Machado (Por) Team KatushaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 37 - Cell 2
39Thomas De Gent (Bel) Lotto-SoudalRow 38 - Cell 2
40Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 39 - Cell 2
41Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdgeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 42 - Cell 2
44Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 43 - Cell 2
45Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM CyclingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-SoudalRow 45 - Cell 2
47Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 46 - Cell 2
48Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 47 - Cell 2
49Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 48 - Cell 2
50Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.frRow 49 - Cell 2
51Stef Clement (Ned) IAM CyclingRow 50 - Cell 2
52Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory RacingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 54 - Cell 2
56Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 56 - Cell 2
58Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 58 - Cell 2
60Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 59 - Cell 2
61Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 60 - Cell 2
62Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Lars Bak (Den) Lotto-SoudalRow 62 - Cell 2
64David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 63 - Cell 2
65Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team KatushaRow 67 - Cell 2
69Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 68 - Cell 2
70Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 69 - Cell 2
71Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 70 - Cell 2
72Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 71 - Cell 2
73Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 72 - Cell 2
74Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM CyclingRow 73 - Cell 2
75Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 74 - Cell 2
76Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 75 - Cell 2
77Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 76 - Cell 2
78Campbell Flakemore (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM CyclingRow 79 - Cell 2
81Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 81 - Cell 2
83Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 83 - Cell 2
85Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 84 - Cell 2
86Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team KatushaRow 85 - Cell 2
87Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 86 - Cell 2
88Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 87 - Cell 2
89Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 89 - Cell 2
91Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto-Soudal0:00:22
92Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:24
93William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 92 - Cell 2
94Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 95 - Cell 2
97Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 98 - Cell 2
100Ian Stannards (GBr) Team SkyRow 99 - Cell 2
101George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 100 - Cell 2
102Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-MeridaRow 102 - Cell 2
104Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 103 - Cell 2
105Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 104 - Cell 2
106Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 105 - Cell 2
107Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 106 - Cell 2
108Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 107 - Cell 2
109Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 109 - Cell 2
111Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 110 - Cell 2
112Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto-SoudalRow 111 - Cell 2
113Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 113 - Cell 2
115Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:34
117Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky0:00:41
118José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:43
120Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:32
121Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:01:37
122Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 121 - Cell 2
123Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:01:45
124Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:01:53
125Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 124 - Cell 2
126Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:58
127Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 126 - Cell 2
128Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:02:01
129David Tanner (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 128 - Cell 2
130Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:04:12
DNFSimon Geschke (Ger) Giant-AlpecinRow 130 - Cell 2
Row 131 - Cell 0 Row 131 - Cell 1 Row 131 - Cell 2

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.

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