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Towards Zero Race Melbourne: Sam Bennett bests Viviani in sprint finish

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Sam Bennett sprays the champagne

Sam Bennett sprays the champagne
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The top three: Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani and Steele von Hoff

The top three: Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani and Steele von Hoff
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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A small group broke away from the pack

A small group broke away from the pack
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Owain Doull pulls off the front of the breakaway

Owain Doull pulls off the front of the breakaway
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Bora-Hansgrohe come to the front to share responsibility

Bora-Hansgrohe come to the front to share responsibility
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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George Bennett in the pack

George Bennett in the pack
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Recent Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey

Recent Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Mitchelton-Scott look after their sprinter Caleb Ewan

Mitchelton-Scott look after their sprinter Caleb Ewan
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Thumbs up from a happy Sam Bennett

Thumbs up from a happy Sam Bennett
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Sam Bennett glances up towards the line during the sprint

Sam Bennett glances up towards the line during the sprint
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The riders sprint towards the line

The riders sprint towards the line
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Sam Bennett celebrates his win

Sam Bennett celebrates his win
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Sam Bennett wins the Towards Zero Race Melbourn

Sam Bennett wins the Towards Zero Race Melbourn
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Caleb Ewan crosses the line

Caleb Ewan crosses the line
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Caleb Ewan in the jersey of national criterium champion

Caleb Ewan in the jersey of national criterium champion
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Elia Viviani sits at the back of the Quick-Step Floors train

Elia Viviani sits at the back of the Quick-Step Floors train
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The breakaway

The breakaway
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Caleb Ewan ahead of the Towards Zero Race Melbourne

Caleb Ewan ahead of the Towards Zero Race Melbourne
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The riders get underway

The riders get underway
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The peloton makes its way along the waterfront

The peloton makes its way along the waterfront
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Caleb Ewan talks to the press at the start

Caleb Ewan talks to the press at the start
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The riders wait for the start

The riders wait for the start
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The weather was perfect for racing

The weather was perfect for racing
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue)

Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue)
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Mitchelton-Scott with Caleb Ewan

Mitchelton-Scott with Caleb Ewan
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The riders keeping a close eye on each other

The riders keeping a close eye on each other
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Mitchelton-Scott works on the front of the peloton

Mitchelton-Scott works on the front of the peloton
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Owain Doull having a better time Down Under than his last trip

Owain Doull having a better time Down Under than his last trip
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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Caleb Ewan sits comfortably in the pack

Caleb Ewan sits comfortably in the pack
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)
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The peloton strings out under the pace

The peloton strings out under the pace
(Image credit: TDWsport/Immediate Media)

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the Towards Zero Race criterium in Melbourne's Albert Park for a second consecutive year, after a strong breakaway was caught during the last 5.3km lap of the fast circuit that will host the season opener of the Formula 1 World Championships in two months' time.

Mitchelton-Scott led the chase of the break along with Quick-Step Floors and seemed in control of the lead out. However, Ewan was suddenly left out front early, while Bennett timed his powerful surge perfectly. Viviani jumped onto the Irishman's wheel but was unable to come past him at the line.

Steele Von Hoffe (Bennelong SwissWellness) came through to finish third, while Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) was fourth and Ewan fifth.

“This win is really important for my morale and confidence,” Bennett said. “I came to the Tour Down Under and unfortunately fell ill there, and didn't have very good form. Yesterday, I even had to turn back from training because I felt in a bad way. So, today's result is a bit of a surprise. I had good legs and the Bora-Hansgrohe guys did an excellent job to put me in a good position into the final stretch. It is very encouraging to get this win, which I think bodes well for the rest of the season. To win twice here is also a great feeling.”

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora - Hansgrohe2:29:08
2Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick - Step Floors
3Steele von Hoff (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia
4Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
5Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha Alpecin
8Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
9Robert Wagner (Ger) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
10Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
11August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
12Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
13Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha Alpecin
14Alex Frame (NZl) Trek - Segafredo
15Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
16Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora - Hansgrohe
17Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe
18Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
19Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
20Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
21Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek - Segafredo
22Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick - Step Floors
24Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
25Michael Morkov (Den) Quick - Step Floors
26Shane Archbold (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport
27Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
28Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team Sky
29Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
30Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha Alpecin
31Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
32Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
33Lars Bak Ytting (Den) Lotto Soudal
34Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
35Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:10
36Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:13
37Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick - Step Floors
38Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha Alpecin0:00:17
39Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
40Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing Team
41Scott Bowden (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia
42Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data
43Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data
44Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
45Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
46Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
47Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
48Jason Lea (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia
49Casper Pedersen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
50Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
51Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team
52Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
53Niklas Eg (Den) Trek - Segafredo
54Calvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport
55Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
56Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
57Robert de Greef (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
58Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha Alpecin
59Johonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Katusha Alpecin
60Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe0:00:29
61Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
62Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data
63Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
64Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
65Roy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
66Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
67Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek - Segafredo
68Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij0:00:33
69Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
70Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick - Step Floors
71Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick - Step Floors
72Nathan Earle (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy0:00:44
73Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
74Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:49
75Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:32
76Hamish Schreurs (NZl) Israel Cycling Academy
77Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek - Segafredo0:01:35
78Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
79Jacobus Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:01:49
80Tyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:52
81Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:59
82Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
83Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:02:02
84José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha Alpecin
85Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Quick - Step Floors0:02:52
86Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek - Segafredo
87Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
88Sam Crome (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia
89Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky
90Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek - Segafredo
91George Bennett (NZl) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
92Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
93Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data0:03:02
94Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
95Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
96Timothy Roe (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia
97Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
98Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:05:00
99Nathan Elliot (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia0:05:04
DNFPeter Kennaugh (GBr) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFMaciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFRudiger Selig (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFDaan Olivier (Ned) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
DNFTim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
DNFAaron Gate (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFMichael Rice (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate - Australia
DNSPhil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb

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