After the battle for the bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint, the peloton allowed the day’s breakaway to form with Rosskopf joining Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), Dylan Sunderland (NTT Pro Cycling), and Jarrad Drizners (UniSA) in the four-rider move.
With five laps of a 30-kilometer circuit on the cards, the breakaway gained a maximum advantage of four minutes in the first 60 kilometers before the sprinters’ teams began to take control and slowly reduce the gap.
Rosskopf was second at the first KOM to gain two points but with the peloton closing in on the breakaway after three laps, the American launched a solo move approaching 50 kilometers to go.
With the chase group brought back to the bunch, Rosskopf flew the CCC Team flag at the front of the race and crested the second KOM to take the three maximum points, to draw even with Drizners, who sprinted to take second on the KOM.
Rosskopf was caught by the peloton approaching the final lap, at which point the sprinters’ teams started to form their trains with the expected bunch sprint looming.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) took the win in Tanunda while Rosskopf needed to out-sprint Drizner to take the first KOM jersey of the race. Although he fell short, crossing the line ten places behind Drizners, Rosskopf was awarded the most combative rider award for his solo attack.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“We all had a pretty free role to go in the breakaway as we have nothing to lose. It’s great to be aggressive every day and go for the intermediate competitions; the most competitive, or the KOM, or sprints. It was a race to get a good result and show the jersey. I would have liked to come away with the KOM jersey. Tomorrow, there are more points. I’ll be up there floating around at the start tomorrow and see if I can get in the breakaway again. I am tied on points right now so we will see what happens.”
Santos Tour Down Under
Stage 1 Tanunda > Tanunda
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step), 2. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates), 3. Erik Baska (BORA-hansgrohe).
CCC Team top 3: 22. Szymon Sajnok, 39. Joey Rosskopf, 46. Simon Geschke.
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