Here are the higlights from the Tour Down Under’s opener, the People’s Choice Classic.
The criterium took place around Rymill Park in Adelaide and the riders faced 51 kilometres. Marcel Kittel took the honours at the end of the 30 lap race.
The Giant-Alpecin team rider, who won last year’s Classic but on a different course, set himself perfectly for the sprint, powering home to win in a time of 1:02:41. Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Movistar) was half a wheel behind in second place with Dutchman Wouter Wippert (Drapac) third.
“It’s actually almost impossible to control the bunch in such a short race but my team mates did an awesome job,” said Kittel. “In the chaos I got a good lead out.
“I’m very happy and proud,” he said. “I’m always nervous before the first race of the year and I also always want to win the first race of the year.
“This is my third time in South Australia and I really like this place,” he said. “I like it even more when I win like today.”
The cyclists will enjoy a rest day on Monday to prepare for the Santos Tour Down Under, the first World Tour event of 2015, which begins on Tuesday with Hostworks Stage 1. The 132 kilometre stage will begin in the charming Barossa Valley town of Tanunda before heading out through world famous vineyards. The peloton will tackle Checker Hill then descend it the finish line in Campbelltown.