Marcel Kittel wins prelude to Tour Down Under

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Associated Press

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 9:02 PM

ADELAIDE, Australias (AP) — Marcel Kittel of Germany outsprinted illustrious compatriot Andre Greipel Sunday in a thrilling finish to the People's Choice Classic, the traditional prelude to the Tour Down Under cycle race.

Kittel, riding for the Giant-Shimano team, came from a couple bike lengths back in the final sprint to win by half a wheel, denying Greipel his third-straight win in the event that was raced over a 50-kilometer closed street course in downtown Adelaide.

After winning four stages on last year's Tour de France, including the last stage on the Champs-Elysees, Kittel is regarded as a leading chance to win the Tour Down Under, the first event of the 2014 UCI ProTour. While Sunday's race doesn't count towards general classification, Kittel will wear the tour leader's jersey in the opening stage on Tuesday.

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