After missing out on a ride in the Tour de France due to illness and lack of form, Marcel Kittel returns with a stage win at the Tour of Poland

German sprinter Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) won the opening stage of the 2015 Tour of Poland on Sunday, his first race since missing out on selection for the Tour de France after suffering a protracted illness and losing race fitness.

The relatively short and flat opening stage around Warsaw ended up in a bunch sprint after the day’s escape group was caught, with Kittel taking the victory ahead of Australian Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) in second and Italian Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida) in third.

Thanks to his time bonus, Kittel leads the race by six seconds over Ewan and 10 seconds over Bonifazio.

>>> Marcel Kittel to resume racing at Tour of Poland

Kittel has suffered from lingering illness throughout the 2015 season, and his Poland victory is his first since the People’s Choice Classic back in January. He will be seeking more stage wins in the coming few stages of the race, and hoping to set up a successful end to what has been a torrid season so far.

The WorldTour-level Tour of Poland runs from Sunday, August 2, to Saturday, August 8, and features six road stages and a final individual time trial. The race continues on Monday with 146km stage two from Częstochowa to Dąbrowa Górnicza.

Home rider Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the race last year, and ranks as one of the leading favourites alongside World Champion and compatriot Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep).

>>> Tour of Poland 2015 preview

Marcel Kittel wins stage one of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Marcel Kittel wins stage one of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Results

Tour of Poland 2015, stage one: Warsaw to Warsaw, 122km
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Sebastien Turgot (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
6. Kris Boekmans (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
7. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
8. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
9. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep
10. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar all same time

Overall classification after stage one
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 4 secs
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 6 secs

Video: Secrets of the toolbox – Giant-Alpecin

  • blemcooper

    Looks like Orica-Greenedge needs some grippier tires (Orica on Conti, Giant on Vittoria). Maybe with better grip, Ewan could have won, but then Kittel may have had a bit more power to give if he had needed to.

  • Edvid

    The difference in size between Kittel and Ewan is astonishing, considering the former was the top sprinter of 2013/14 and the latter could also be right at the top at some point…