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

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The Race Melbourne circuit race podium: Danny van Poppel, Sam Bennett and Scott Sunderland

The Race Melbourne circuit race podium: Danny van Poppel, Sam Bennett and Scott Sunderland (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett with his teammates after his win

Sam Bennett with his teammates after his win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The pace was high in the attack

The pace was high in the attack (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rohan Dennis (BMC)

Rohan Dennis (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ian Stannard (Team Sky) worked hard in the break

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) worked hard in the break (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves and Australian criterium champion Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)

Esteban Chaves and Australian criterium champion Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky)

Chris Froome (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Acqua Blue Sport made its debut in the Melbourne race

Acqua Blue Sport made its debut in the Melbourne race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Rowe (Team Sky)

Luke Rowe (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome moves up

Chris Froome moves up (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sergio Henao (Team Sky)

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott)

Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) celebrates his win at the Race Melbourne circuit race

Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) celebrates his win at the Race Melbourne circuit race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) takes the win

Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) takes the win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) won Race Melbourne by a wide margin

Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) won Race Melbourne by a wide margin (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bennett leads the sprint to the line

Bennett leads the sprint to the line (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Here they come

Here they come (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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It was a fast and furious finish

It was a fast and furious finish (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves made an early attack

Esteban Chaves made an early attack (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Not everyone sprinted to the finish

Not everyone sprinted to the finish (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) rolls out at the start

Chris Froome (Team Sky) rolls out at the start (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett toasts his victory with Danny van Poppel and Scott Sunderland

Sam Bennett toasts his victory with Danny van Poppel and Scott Sunderland (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett celebrates on the podium

Sam Bennett celebrates on the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The champagne flows on the podium

The champagne flows on the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett talks to Dave McKenzie

Sam Bennett talks to Dave McKenzie (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett shows off his winner's trophy

Sam Bennett shows off his winner's trophy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step Floors) on the podium after his aggressive race

Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step Floors) on the podium after his aggressive race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett waves from the top step of the podium

Sam Bennett waves from the top step of the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves (Orica Scott)

Esteban Chaves (Orica Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Caleb Ewan prepares for battle

Caleb Ewan prepares for battle (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sergio Henao (Team Sky)

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Danny Van Poppel has his number pinned on

Danny Van Poppel has his number pinned on (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data) heads to the start

Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data) heads to the start (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Rowe takes a moment to check the conditions

Luke Rowe takes a moment to check the conditions (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sky riders sign jerseys for fans

Team Sky riders sign jerseys for fans (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Race organiser, Cadel Evans

Race organiser, Cadel Evans (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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It was a criterium so Miles Scotson was in normal BMC colours

It was a criterium so Miles Scotson was in normal BMC colours (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The AG2R-La Mondiale team at sign on

The AG2R-La Mondiale team at sign on (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders start the criterium

The riders start the criterium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) meets his fans

Chris Froome (Team Sky) meets his fans (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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In the pits with the Katusha team

In the pits with the Katusha team (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Gerrans (Orica Scott)

Simon Gerrans (Orica Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Rowe (Team Sky)

Luke Rowe (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Cam Meyer with a fan in dress up for Australia Day

Cam Meyer with a fan in dress up for Australia Day (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders head to the start line for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Towards Zero Race Melbourne 2017

Riders head to the start line for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Towards Zero Race Melbourne 2017 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Geschke (Sunweb) signs on at the start

Simon Geschke (Sunweb) signs on at the start (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jack Bauer (Quickstep Floors)

Jack Bauer (Quickstep Floors) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing)

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A Katusha rider signs on at the Cadel Race

A Katusha rider signs on at the Cadel Race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky)

Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo)

Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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QuickStep Floors riders in Australia

QuickStep Floors riders in Australia (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett wins the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Towards Zero Race Melbourne 2017

Sam Bennett wins the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Towards Zero Race Melbourne 2017 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sam Bennett with his teammates after his win

Sam Bennett with his teammates after his win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott)

Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Smiles from Chris Froome after finishing his first race of 2017

Smiles from Chris Froome after finishing his first race of 2017 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome after the finish

Chris Froome after the finish (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Orica Scott lead the peloton

Orica Scott lead the peloton (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sky in action in Australia

Team Sky in action in Australia (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Esteban Chaves (Orica Scott)

Esteban Chaves (Orica Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Amaël Moinard (BMC)

Amaël Moinard (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Racing at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Towards Zero Race Melbourne 2017

Racing at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Towards Zero Race Melbourne 2017 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R La Mondiale lead the peloton

AG2R La Mondiale lead the peloton (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ian Stannard hits the front

Ian Stannard hits the front (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton speeds along the Albert Park course

The peloton speeds along the Albert Park course (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott) in his criterium championships jersey

Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott) in his criterium championships jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Katusha riders move up

The Katusha riders move up (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome in action for the first time in 2017

Chris Froome in action for the first time in 2017 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Robert Gesink (LottoNL Jumbo)

Robert Gesink (LottoNL Jumbo) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

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."

"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).

"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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