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Peter Sagan wins prelude to Tour Down Under

France Cycling Tour de France

Peter Sagan of Slovakia, center, crosses the finish line ahead of France’s Julian Alaphilippe, right, to win the second stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 183 kilometers (113.7 miles) with start in Saint-Lo and finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France, Sunday, July 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

AP

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Three-time world road racing champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia made an outstanding start to the 2018 cycling season Sunday when he won the People’s Choice Classic, a prelude to the first World Tour event of the season, the Tour Down Under.

Sagan beat star sprinters Andre Greipel of Germany and Caleb Ewan of Australia in a bunch sprint to win the 50.6 kilometer (31.4 mile) race over 22 laps of a street course in central Adelaide.

The win means Sagan will wear the tour leader’s ocher jersey in the first stage of the six stage Tour Down Under on Tuesday. Sunday’s race does not count toward general classification.

Ewan won the race in each of the past two years and Greipel is the only three-time winner. The 132-strong field that lined up for the race Sunday included seven former winners.