Sam Bennett’s showing in Santos Tour Down Under bodes well for 2020

Irish rider finishes 73rd overall but comes fourth in terms of points classification

Sam Bennett won the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, finishing 73rd overall. Photograph: Brenton Edwards/Getty/AFP

Sam Bennett finished the Santos Tour Down Under in fourth place in the points classification on Sunday, with his solid showing testament to his strong performances during the race. Bennett won the opening stage, was second on day four and then took third in the sprint which settled Saturday’s leg.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep rider’s performance in his first stage race of the year bodes well for the season, and he will end the race encouraged by his performances on the stages which suited his abilities.

The final stage of the race was a hilly one to the top of Willunga Hill. British rider Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) beat overall race winner Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) by three seconds. Porte ended the race 25 seconds clear of Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), thus winning the event for the second time in his career.

Bennett finished 73rd overall and is next set to contest the Race Torquay event on Thursday.


Santos Tour Down Under, Australia (WorldTour)

Stage 6, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill: 1, Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) 151.5 kilometres in 3 hours 24 mins 54 secs; 2, R. Porte (Trek-Segafredo) at 3 secs; 3, M. Boaro (Astana Pro Team) at 4 secs; 4, B. Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) at 7 secs; 5, M. Storer (Team Sunweb); 6, D. Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) both same time

Irish: 103, S. Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 8 mins 53 secs

Final overall classification: 1, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) 20 hours 37 mins 8 secs; 2, D. Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) at 25 secs; 3, S. Geschke (CCC Team); 4, R. Dennis (Team Ineos); 5, D. Van Baarle (Team Ineos) all same time; 6, D. Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) at 30 secs

Irish: 73, S. Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 14 mins 12 secs

Points classification: 1, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) 63; 2, D. Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) 48; 3, C. Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 47

Irish: 4, S. Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 42