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Marcel Kittel prevents André Greipel from taking 3 in a row in the opening classic of the Tour Down Under

Added: sunday 19 January 2014 at 15:52:00
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    Marcel Kittel prevents André Greipel from taking 3 in a row in the opening classic of the Tour Down UnderAs every year, yet another sprinter won the People's Choice Classic, the criterium which announces the Tour Down Under which will start on Tuesday.

    And this time it was not André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) who won it, but Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) who beats him in the sprint!

    The summary of the People's Choice Classic 2014

    The criterium took place on a new circuit, 2 kilometers long around the river Torrens, close to the Adelaide Zoo, with 25 laps for a total distance of 50 kilometers.

    The race started with several solo attacks which remained without success, until the creation of a small group with Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) who took the prime in the sprint at the 5th crossing of the finish line and who was joined by Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) and Lucka Wackermann (Lampre-Merida) and later on also by Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr).

    A crash at the end of the 6th lap had as its main victim the former Italian champion (2010 and 2011), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), who was transported to the hospital with a broken leg (his team indicates the tibia of his right leg is broken). After the Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar)'s broken collarbone during a training in Australia (a car which had to make an emergency stop due to a pedestrian crossing in front of him was the origin of Voeckler's crash since he was not able to prevent crashing into the car) Visconti is thus the second name we can strike through on the list of participating riders of the Tour Down Under 2014 even before the race starts on Tuesday*.

    At the 10th crossing of the foinish line, Axel Domont tried to take the prime but he was beaten just in time by Nathan Haas and the Australian rider thus takes both first two primes while the gap for the 4 escapees is stable around 30 seconds.

    In the 15th lap, the gap goes down rapidly following an acceleration of the peloton led by the Giant-Shimano and Lotto-Belisol teams which already anticipate a sprint finish. This doesn't however prevent Nathan Haas from taking the 3rd prime of the race when crossing the line. When the peloton comes too close, Wackermann is the first who tries to get away alone but without success. Axel Domont does the same and is leading the race solo for a while at 7 laps from the finish.
    Fortunately the rider of the AG2R La Mondiale team changed his bike before the start so he could stay ahead a bit longer than on this bike ...

    Matthew Hayman (Team Sky) is the first rider to join Domont and rapidly the whole bunch gets back together at a bit over 5 laps from the finish.

    In the peloton it's Philip Deignan (Team Sky)'s turn to take the last prime at the 20th crossing of the finish line and it's mainly his team which is seen in front of the peloton at that moment of the race but in the last lap the Lotto-Belisol train takes over the lead, hoping to allow André Greipel to take the 3rd victory in row in this race (after 2012 and 2013).
    It was indeed André Greipel who started the sprint but Marcel Kittel (Team Giant-Shimano) manages to get aside him on the left and takes the victory in this race which announces the Tour Down Under 2014, first UCI WorldTour race of the season.

    The result of the People's Choice Classic 2014

    Here's the top 10 of this criterium:

    Marcel Kittel1/ Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) - 1h04'34"
    2/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
    3/ Caleb Ewan (UniSA-Australia)
    4/ Christopher Sutton (Team Sky)
    5/ Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team)
    6/ Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    7/ Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    8/ Jonathan Cantwell (Drapac Cycling)
    9/ Elia Viviani (Cannondale)
    10/ Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol)

    Video summary of the People's Choice Classic 2014

    Here's the video summary of this race:

    And now it's time for the Santos Tour Down Under 2014

    After this People's Choice Classic, the Santos Tour Down Under 2014 wll start on Tuesday for 6 stages until Sunday.

    In order to know all the details about the Tour Down Under 2014 race route, you can check out the article The Tour Down Under 2014 race route on Google Maps/Google Earth and stage profiles.

    * the start on Tuesday is not sure yet because bush fires north of Adelaide might put at risk the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under 2014

    source illustration photo of this article: © John Veage - Santos Tour Down Under

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour Down Under| Tour Down Under 2014 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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