Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the People's Choice Classic in Adelaide two days before the start of the Santos Tour Down Under. In a gripping sprint, he relegated André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) to second place. The young Australian Caleb Ewan (UniSA) came third. The race, which is traditionally held before the Australian WorldTour, is considered by many drivers to be the season opener.
For Greipel, who had started the sprint, the finish line came ten meters too late. Kittel only prevailed with a final punch. Both had torn a small gap to the other drivers in a hectic finale.
Your team had done everything right before. Because shortly after the start of the race, the first drivers had said goodbye to the field. Above all, the Garmin Sharp professional Nathan Haas was active. After initiating the first group together with Travis Meyer (Drapac), Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Robert Gesink (Belkin) and Jack Haig (UniSA), he also made it into the second group of the day. Because when the field had brought back the early breakaways, they were looking Axel Domont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Luca Wackermann (Lampre-Merida) escaped. Together with Haas, they were able to hold their own in front of the field for a while and make up the intermediate sprints among themselves, but in the end the teams of the two German sprinters and Sky ensured order.
"My team did an excellent job", said a delighted Kittel after the first victory for his newly formed team after the race.
The race was overshadowed by a serious crash involving Italian Givanni Visconti (Movistar), who was taken to hospital with a suspected fracture in his leg.
1. Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano 1:04:34
2. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) 0:00:00
3. Caleb Ewan (UniSA) 0:00:00
4. Christopher Sutton (Sky) 0:00:00
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (FDJ.fr) 0:00:00