Sam Bennett bags Bora-Hansgrohe's first victory at Race Melbourne

Bennett outsprints Van Poppel and Scott Sunderland

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) outsprinted Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and Scott Sunderland (IsoWhy Sports – SwissWellness) to the top step of the podium at Race Melbourne on Thursday. The Australia Day circuit race hosted on the Formula 1 course in Melbourne's Albert Park serves as a prelude to Sunday's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

"I'm extremely happy," said Bennett. "To get the first win of the season is really nice, and it takes the pressure off a bit."

The Irishman has enjoyed support from the German-registered squad throughout the Australian summer. He was led out by the rainbow jersey, teammate Peter Sagan, in the People's Choice Classic to finish second to Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott). Bennett sprinted to third on the first stage of the Tour Down Under.

"I'd like to thank [team manager] Ralph [Denk] and Bora-Hansgrohe for setting up a great race program and supporting us here and also to my teammates who supported me all day," said Bennett. "They did a fantastic job and they got me out of trouble, even in the last three corners."

The men's peloton averaged nearly 49-kilometres per hour over the 22-lap, 116-kilometre race. Two large breakaways dominated the two-hour and twenty minute effort.

"It was fast," said Tom-Jelte Slager (Cannondale-Drapac), who rode in service of teammate Tom Van Asbroeck. "The sweet spot was around 20th wheel, but it was windy enough that if you were on the front or the back, you were working hard."

A group of 15 riders slipped away on the first lap including Sky pair Luke Rowe and Kenny Elissonde, Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Will Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) and Calvin Watson (Aqua Blue Sport). The group cooperated, with every rider contributing to the pace-making, but the peloton was unwilling to allow more than a 30-second gap. By lap six, the race had come back together.

The catch sparked a fresh spate of attacks, and a new escape group of 16 went clear on lap seven. Chaves was away again, this time with Ian Stannard (Sky), Sergio Henao (Sky), Koen de Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale).

Collaboration and the sheer strength of the riders ahead afforded this group a larger gap, but a chasing peloton began to close the gap in the second half of the race and shut it down entirely on lap 20. The usual counter-moves followed the catch. Every attempt was neutralised. Crowds lining the barriers on Aughtie Drive were treated to a high speed bunch gallop.

"We just kind of came in relaxed," said Bennett. "We let the race happen, and we didn't try to control or force it. If it came to a sprint, we were going to try and do something, but otherwise we were just going to be relaxed."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe2:21:39 
2Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky  
3Scott Sunderland (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
4Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo  
5Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott  
6Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data  
7Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb  
8Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac  
9Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2r La Mondiale  
10Travis Mccabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
11Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
12Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
13Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
14Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
15Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
16Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
17Ivan Savitckii (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
18Jesse Kerrison (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
19Brenton Jones (Aus)  
20Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
21Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
22Alexei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
23Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin  
24Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin  
25Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
26Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal  
27Scott Bowden (Aus)  
28Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport  
29Lucas Hamilton (Aus)  
30Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
31Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb  
32Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
33Alexander Porter (Aus)  
34Cameron Bayly (Aus)  
35Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport  
36Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
37Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors  
38Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:09 
39Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:10 
40Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:00:12 
41Artur Ershov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:00:13 
42Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb  
43Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:14 
44Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:20 
45Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
46Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin  
47Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
48Martin Velits (Svk) Quick-Step Floors  
49Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:23 
50Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
51Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
52Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe  
53Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott  
54Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky  
55Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky  
56Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky  
57Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
58Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott  
59Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo  
60Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo  
61Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
62Greg Henderson (NZl) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
63François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
64Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
65Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
66Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
67Janier Acevedo (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
68Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team  
69Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
70Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac  
71Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
72Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:36 
73Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
74Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors  
75Cameron Meyer (Aus)0:00:38 
76Kirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
77Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac  
78Patrick Lane (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
79Calvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport  
80William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
81Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
82Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo  
83Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo  
84Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin  
85Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott0:01:00 
86Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
87Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:04 
88Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data  
89Conor Dunne (Ire) Aqua Blue Sport0:01:10 
90Lukas Pöstleberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:42 
91Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hasgrohe  
92Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal  
93Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:02:23 
94Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data0:02:58 
95Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:04 
96James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal  
97Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
98Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:03:06 
99Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
100Tim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
101Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb  
102Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
103Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb  
104José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin  
105Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-Scott0:04:04 
106Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:13 
107Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo  
108Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:04:15 
109Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data  
DNFBen O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data  
DNFNathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data  
DNFÁngel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFBert Jan Lindeman (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFDamien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott  
DNFJesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFMartijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFNick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFJonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNFLachlan Norris (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNFMichael Storer (Aus)  
DNFRobbie Hucker (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team  
DNFJeremy Cameron (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team  
DNFEnric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFRúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFLawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport  


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