Marcel Kittel hat beim ersten Aufeinandertreffen der deutschen Sprint-Giganten André Greipel beim 50 km langen Kriterium durch Adelaide im Vorfeld der Tour Down Under auf den zweiten Platz verwiesen. Der 20-jährige Rick Zabel (Unna/BMC), Sohn des Ex-Sprinters Erik Zabel, kam bei seinem Profi-Debüt mit 1:33 Minuten Rückstand als 72. ins Ziel. Unten die Pressemeldung dazu.
The newly named Team Giant-Shimano got the 2014 season off to a perfect start today as Marcel Kittel (GER) won the opening criterium of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia.
It was a historic day for the team as the riders took to the start line for the first time with title sponsor Giant emblazened across their chests, and everyone was ready to race after a solid winter of preparation with staff, sponsors and partners fine-tuning not only their bikes and equipment, but also all aspects of their training in preparation for the new season.
The race itself is just a warm-up for the tour itself but there was no let up in action as some of the top sprinters in the world were out to battle for victory.
The team controlled the race throughout and set Kittel up in perfect position in the final few laps to allow him to give it his all, and he had the power in his legs to come past on the line to take a well deserved.
„I’m really pleased with the work the boys put in today,“ said Kittel. „It’s a great way to start the new season for both the team and our new sponsor Giant.
„The guys put me in a perfect position to finish off the job. It’s a relief to get the first win under my belt and we can build on our confidence from here. The bike felt great today and it’s a nice pay back to Giant for their confidence in us.“
Team Giant-Shimano coach, Addy Engels (NED), said: „What better way to start the new season. We have been in Australia for a little while now to get used to the time and temperature difference and the guys have been picking up their training, but today I really felt a change in everyone, they knew what they had to do and were ready to race.
„From lap one Marcel knew he had good legs to go for the win and the guys did a great job. Simon Geschke (GER) came down in a small crash but was ok, no damage done. It’s great to show off our new jersey and new sponsor, Giant right from race one.“