Report/Result: Race Melbourne

Irishman Sam Bennet ( BORA-hansgrohe’s)  wins the Australia Day  Race Melbourne kermesse

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Report/Result: Race Melbourne

Team Press Release

Irishman Sam Bennet ( BORA-hansgrohe’s)  wins the Australia Day  Race Melbourne kermesse

Having had a few days to recover from their efforts in the Tour Down Under, the team turned their attentions towards the two events of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Starting with the Race Melbourne, the Australia Day event brought back riders from the Tour Down Under stage race, as well as some other high profile teams in the kermesse-style event. While attacks dominated the race, it was BORA-hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett who dominated the sprint, the Irish rider taking the win that had eluded him last week.

Following the same course as the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park, the race covered 22 laps of the 5.3km Melbourne circuit. The flat profile of this 116.6km race wouldn’t trouble riders, but with some tight turns, particularly as the route neared the finish line, the higher speeds this race encourages would make racing tough – this would especially be the case as it reached its finale.

While a bunch sprint was expected at the end of the day, this didn’t stop the escapes going throughout the race. An early escape group managed to stay ahead for 6 laps, while at the 8 lap mark, another group went ahead, stretching their advantage to almost a minute before the bunch started to work to keep them in check. Maintaining their advantage, it wasn’t until just a few laps of the race remained that the peloton really started to up the pace to reel the escape back in, with the gap falling dramatically to time the catch in time for the predicted bunch sprint.

The catch made with two laps to go, it was the sprinters’ teams who took control at the front – driving a hard pace both to prevent another attack from the bunch, as well as to get their riders in a good position to contest the finale – but in spite of the fast pace, two riders took their chance to make the jump ahead. While the attack was short-lived, it caused some nervousness in the bunch as they pulled things back together ahead of the sprint. Showing the strong sprinting form seen throughout the Tour Down Under, Sam Bennett surged ahead, timing his sprint to perfection and creating clean air between himself and second place. The BORA-hansgrohe rider crossed the line in front after strong support from his teammates in the lead-in to the finale.

Sam was justifiably pleased with his performance today, and was quick to share his appreciation of his teammates, who worked hard to get him in position. “It’s great to get a win under my belt early in the season. I want to thank BORA-hansgrohe for the nice race programme, and having us here and their great support, and also to the teammates. The guys did a great job today supporting me – I’d like to thank them. They kept me well protected all day and set me up perfectly for the finish.”

Sports Director, Steffen Radochla, was thrilled that the BORA-hansgrohe team had taken their first win early in the season, and outlined the team’s tactics. “This was the first victory for the BORA-hansgrohe team. It was a very fast sprint and Sam was unbelievably fast. We’re really happy with the race and this first win of the team. The strategy was to bring Sam to the finale and not to go in the breakaways, so we only concentrated on the last 2km to bring Sam into a really good position. It worked really well – we had a top lead-out and Sam was really fast, so we are really happy.”

Attention now turns to the Great Ocean Road Race. The third edition of the event, taking place on Sunday, will cover a similar route to the 2010 UCI Road World Championships. The 174km parcours takes in some stunning scenery both inland and along the coast, as well as some challenging climbs, before finishing with three-laps of a 20.2km street circuit in Geelong.
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1. Sam BENNETT (BOH) 2h21:39
2. Danny VAN POPPEL (SKY) +0
3. Scott SUNDERLAND (IWS) +0
4. Edward THEUNS (TFS) +0
5. Caleb EWAN (ORS) +0
6. Tyler FARRAR (DDD) +0
7. Nikias ARNDT (SUN) +0
9. Matto MONTAGUTI (ALM) +0
10. Travis MCCABE (UHC) +0

19. Brenton JONES (AUS) +0
47. Ian STANNARD (SKY) +20
53. Simon GERRANS (ORS) +23
58. Esteban CHAVES RUBIO (ORS) +23
59. Mads PEDERSEN (TFS) +23
61. Robert GESINK (TLJ) +23
62. Greg HENDERSON (UHC) +23
69. Rohan DENNIS (BMC) +23
81. Chris FROOME (SKY) +38
86. Luke ROWE (SKY) +1:00
89. Connor DUNNE (ABS) +1:10
96. James SHAW (LTS) +3:04



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