Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) sprinted to victory on stage 1 of the Tour Down Under, his first official race day with his new team. The Irishman took advantage of a perfect lead-out from his new squad to cross the line ahead of Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates).
Despite the best efforts of the breakaway, with Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team) the last man standing, the Tanunda circuit was always going to result in a sprint finish.
The final 30km saw a battle among the sprinters' teams for superiority, as well as a battle to keep the peloton together on the run-in.
Deceuninck-QuickStep eventually came out on top, assembling their famed lead-out train in the closing kilometres, albeit with a few new faces in there. Iljo Keisse gave way to new recruit Shane Archbold in the final kilometre, before Michael Mørkøv launched Bennett to victory.
Earlier in the day, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) grabbed three bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint, signalling his intentions to challenge for a third overall title in a row. The South African lies fourth overall, seven seconds down on Bennett.
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