• Sam Bennett wins his first WorldTourstage for new team Deceuninck - Quick-Step at the 2020 Tour Down Under (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Sam Bennett ticked off a WorldTour KPI nice and early for new team Deceuninck-QuickStep winning the opening stage of the men's Tour Down Under.
Cycling Central

Deceuninck-QuickStep, Lotto-Soudal
21 Jan 2020 - 7:13 PM  UPDATED 21 Jan 2020 - 7:19 PM

The team that calls itself the Wolfpack conducted a sprint team masterclass delivering the Irishman to a close win over UAE's Jasper Phillipsen, and to a stint in the ochre leader's jersey. 

"I’d be lying if I’d say I didn’t feel the pressure to get that first win," Bennett said.

"I am very happy it came today, on the very first stage of the season’s first race, and I can’t thank my incredible teammates enough, because the result is down to their amazing effort."

In contrast, Caleb Ewan was poorly positioned by Lotto-Soudal and had to settle for seventh. 

"We were just a little bit too far back when it mattered," the Australian fastman said. "We were always in a good position and when we needed to be in a good position we weren't.

"That's racing sometimes. Luckily we've got video so we can see where we went wrong."

Daryl Impey declared his intentions early to staunchly defend his two-time Tour Down Under title reign. The Mitchelton-Scott rider grabbed three bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint which could give him the edge in the general classification battle.  

Australian Under 23 road race champion Jarrad Drizners impressed for UniSA making the break with Joey Rosskopf (CCC) and fellow Australians Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), Dylan Sunderland (NTT Pro Cycling).

Drizners' massive summer goes green and gold
A month after signing his first professional contract with US-based Hagens Berman Axeon, Jarrad Drizners has won a second under-23 national title.

New Hagen Berman Axeon signing Drizners won the first KOM points and ended the day in the polka dot jersey on countback after Rosskopf escaped the break to claim the second KOM contest.