Events

Kittel out-kicks Ewan to win stage 1 in Poland

Kittel finally races back into the winner's circle after a season marked by lingering illness that saw him miss the Tour de France

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) out-kicked Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) on Sunday to win stage one of the Tour of Poland in Warsaw.

Matej Mohoric (Cannondale), Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi) and Pawel Biernas (Polish National Team) formed the day’s break early on in the 122km stage, taking a maximum advantage of two minutes.

They were retrieved with 17.5km to go in the 122km stage, and Patrick Gretsch (Ag2r La Mondiale) jumped away as the sprinters’ teams started to organize themselves.

Vegard Breen (Lotto Soudal) joined him, but the two never had more than a handful of seconds as Movistar drove the chase into the bell lap, and they were snatched up with just over 11km to race.

Top 10, stage 1

  • 1. Marcel KITTEL, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, in 2:43:13
  • 2. Caleb EWAN, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 3. Niccolo BONIFAZIO, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 4. Dennis VAN WINDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 5. Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 6. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 7. Andrea GUARDINI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 8. Lorenzo MANZIN, FDJ, at :00
  • 9. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 10. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00

 

Top 10, GC

  • 1. Marcel KITTEL, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, in 2:43:13
  • 2. Caleb EWAN, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 3. Niccolo BONIFAZIO, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 4. Dennis VAN WINDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 5. Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 6. Kris BOECKMANS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 7. Andrea GUARDINI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 8. Lorenzo MANZIN, FDJ, at :00
  • 9. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 10. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00

With 7km to go Orica-GreenEdge took the front for Ewan as Giant-Alpecin lined up for Kittel.

Four kilometers further along Kittel was in the driver’s seat with three men leading him through the winding, technical finale.

Ewan gave him a good run for his money as the two fought for position in the final corner, and the Orica rider was on the front coming out of it, but at the line it was Kittel taking the victory ahead of Ewan and Nicolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida).

“We rode the final corner in the neutral and at first I thought it was going to be difficult but after we passed through it a few times during the race I got a better feeling,” said Kittel.

“The boys were fighting hard for me and brought me into a good position, and although it wasn’t easy to stay together we didn’t lose faith.

“It’s a very important win for me and it’s too long since I last had this feeling. I had to fight back and I am happy that I never gave up and can now be racing for victory again. It’s a race I’ve been looking forward to, and with two more days of possible sprints we can look forward to racing hard.”

Orica sport director Matt Wilson said that final corner was expected to be the crucial moment.

“Everyone knew that the first one through that final corner was most likely going to win,” he said. “In the end it didn’t quite work out that way, but unfortunately there is probably only one guy in the world that could pass him at that point in time and that was Kittel.

“[Ewan] was maybe a little bit over-geared coming over out of the corner and lost a little bit of momentum taking a different line, and that cost him, but you can’t fault his commitment or attempt.”