Marcel Kittel Wins Prelude to Tour Down Under

Becomes favorite to win the tour

Jan 19, 2015
Outside Magazine
marcel kittel cycling peoples choice classic australia tour down under

The German cyclist also won the People's Choice Classic in 2014.    Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday evening, German sprinter Marcel Kittel won the People’s Choice Classic, a 51-kilometer prelude to the Tour Down Under.

The eight-time Tour de France stage winner took advantage of a lead-out from Giant-Alpecin teammate Koen de Kort to win, making him the favorite for the season-opening tour, which begins Tuesday. The victory doesn’t factor into the general classification, but Kittel, 26, will wear the tour leader jersey, reported USA Today.

The 30-lap race, a 1.7-mile street circuit, was held in Adelaide, in Australia’s East End. It ended with riders struggling to dodge a collapsed inflatable finish line with the help of spectators. Kittel’s team launched him at the finish line ahead of Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle of Spain and Wouter Wippert of the Netherlands, who placed second and third, respectively.

“It’s actually impossible to control in such a big race,” Kittel told USA Today. “I think my boys did an awesome job. We always try to come back and stay together as much as possible, and in the end it was sort of a good lead-out with all the chaos. It’s a great start to the season.”

Kittel will be the sprinter to beat in Tuesday’s stage, which runs from Tanunda in the Barossa Valley to Campbelltown in the Adelaide suburbs.

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