Sam Bennett wins Tour Down Under opening Sprint Stage
Sam Bennett timed his sprint perfectly Tuesday to win the 150-kilometer opening stage of the Tour Down Under
The Irish rider took advantage of exceptional lead-out work by his Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammates to cross the line half a bike length ahead of Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates). Erik Baska (Bora-hansgrohe) was third and Elia Viviani (Cofidis).
The stage featured five laps of a 30-kilometer circuit through the picturesque wine-growing region of the Barossa Valley, starting and finishing in Tanunda and passing through the townships of Angaston, Bethany and Nuriootpa.
There was a 2.3-kilometer straight dash to the finish which Bennett thought wouldn’t suit his racing style.
But he was brought into the finish just at the right time, edging along the barriers on the left side of the road and breaking clear to hold out Philipsen and to post his first win for his new, Belgium-based team.
”I think it was definitely the job of the team which was the reason why I won today,” Bennett said. ”I’d be lying if I didn’t feel the pressure coming (to a new team) to get that first win."
”The guys did an absolutely fantastic job, kept me in great position and they did the lead-out perfectly. Every one of them played a superb role today and I can’t thank them enough.”
VIDEO: 2020 Tour Down Under Stage 1 Highlights
2020 Tour Down Under Stage 1 Top 10
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3:28:54
2 Jasper Philpsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
3 Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis Credit Solutions
5 Andre Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
6 Kristofer Halvorsen (Now) EF Pro Cycling
7 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
8 Marc Sarreau (Fra) Cofidis Credit Solutions
9 Sam Welsford (Aus) UniSA
10 Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team Sunweb
2020 Tour Down Under GC after Stage 1
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3:28:44
2 Jasper Philpsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:04
3 Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:06
4 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:07
5 Jarrad Drizners (Aus) UniSA 0:00:07
6 Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team Ineos 0:00:08
7 Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:08
8 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis Credit Solutions 0:00:09
9 Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:09
10 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis Credit Solutions 0:00:10