Henderson 10th in People’s Choice Classic

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Peoples Choice Classic - Marcel Kittel wins 150Jan 19th, ’15.  It was a return to the top of the podium for Marcel Kittel at the People’s Choice Classic.  The GIANT-Alpecin rider took the sprint win convincingly as New Zealand’s Greg Henderson rounded out the top 10.

Peoples Choice Classic - Marcel Kittel wins 320Marcel Kittel wins the People’s Choice Classic for the second year in succession, photo SirottiJan 19th, ’15.  It was a return to the top of the podium for Marcel Kittel at the People’s Choice Classic.  The GIANT-Alpecin rider took the sprint win convincingly as New Zealand’s Greg Henderson rounded out the top 10.

A huge crowd of 95,000 turned out to watch the prelude to the Santos Tour Down Under proper that starts on Tuesday.  In sunny Adelaide conditions the 51km race got underway, but not before special honour had been paid to Cadel Evans who will riding as a professional for the final time at the Santos Tour Down Under before he retires from the sport later this year.

Once the race got underway the pace was predictably high as riders tackled the short circuit on their way to the finish.  But between them were four intermediate sprints that would also provide points of interest.  The first was taken by UniSA-Australia’s Miles Scotson; the new U23 road champion of Australia.

Peoples Choice Classic - Cadel Evans 320The People’s Choice Classic forms part of the farewell tour for Cadel Evans who retires this year, photo Sirotti
The next sprint saw a breakaway – led by Orica GreenEDGE’s Matt Hayman – cross the line first.  In the move were a number of big names including Hayman, Dario Cataldo of Astana, Peter Kennaugh of Team Sky and Trek Factory Racing’s Calvin Watson.  At halfway the quartet had thirty seconds in hand on the chasing field.  They would make it to the third sprint of the day – won by Kennaugh – before they were swept up by a peloton all too eager to make it a bunch sprint.

After the catch was made though the heat began to turn up a notch as the finishing sprint edged closer.  GIANT-Alpecin were very prominent on the front, looking to send Marcel Kittel to his second consecutive Classic win.  But as the bell lap sounded it was anybody’s race.  GIANT-Alpecin led out the sprint with Greg Henderson well positioned behind Kittel, but the German powerhouse was on song, storming away to take the win ahead of Juan Jose Lobato of Movistar and Wouter Wippert of Drapac Professional Cycling.

“My boys did an awesome job,” Kittel said in a team statement afterwards.  “We always try to come back and stay together as much as possible and it was a good lead out with all the chaos.”  After his second consecutive Classic win one has to ask, are the signs pretty ominous for this year’s Santos Tour Down Under in the absence of Lotto Soudal’s Andre Greipel?

Results:

Pos.

Rider

Team

Time

1

Marcel Kittel

GIANT-Alpecin

1.02.41

2

Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle Movistar

st

3

Wouter Wippert

Drapac Professional Cycling st

4

Christopher Sutton

Team Sky

st

5

Heinrich Haussler

IAM Cycling

st

6

Gianni Meersman

Etixx-Quick Step

st

7

Rudiger Selig

Katusha

st

8

Samuel Dumoulin

AG2R La Mondiale

st

9

Mark Renshaw

Etixx-Quick Step

st

10

Greg Henderson

Lotto Soudal

st

OTHERS

   
25

Jack Bauer

Team Garmin-Cannondale st

41

Sam Bewley

Orica GreenEDGE

st

53

Hayden Roulston

Trek Factory Racing

st

101

George Bennett

Team LottoNL- Jumbo +0.24

By:  Ed Wright

 

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