Marcel Kittel wins People's Choice Classic
German rider beats Lobato and Wippert
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.
Click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin||1:02:41|
|2||Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Soudal||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto-Soudal||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Thomas De Gent (Bel) Lotto-Soudal||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Soudal||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Team||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Lars Bak (Den) Lotto-Soudal||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team Katusha||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional Cycling||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Campbell Flakemore (Aus) BMC Racing Team||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing||Row 89 - Cell 2|
|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||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 93 - Cell 2|
|95||Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 94 - Cell 2|
|96||Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Ian Stannards (GBr) Team Sky||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|102||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-Merida||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|105||Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|108||Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|111||Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|112||Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto-Soudal||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|113||Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|114||Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|115||Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|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||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|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||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|123||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky||0:01:45|
|124||Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida||0:01:53|
|125||Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|126||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||0:01:58|
|127||Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|128||Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:02:01|
|129||David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|130||Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia||0:04:12|
|DNF||Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Alpecin||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|Row 131 - Cell 0||Row 131 - Cell 1||Row 131 - Cell 2|
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com 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.
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to The Pick. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Zaaf under investigation after allegations team failed to pay rider, staff salaries'If the team does not pay its workers we will execute the bank guarantee' says Spanish Cycling Federation
Tiffany Cromwell to kick off 2023 gravel calendar in Australia at NannupCanyon-SRAM rider plans for Western Australian UCI Gravel World Series race in May before taking on mix of US and European races including new FNLD GRVL
Injury report: De Wilde fractures scapula in De Panne, Cataldo has surgeryFenix-Deceuninck rider out for an unspecified period, Barnes undergoes surgery for broken radius
Balsamo beats Wiebes in Brugge-De Panne sprint – for second placeSprinter showdown foiled by Georgi solo