Sam Bennett says he ‘felt pressure to get the first win’

The Irish champion delivered on his first real opportunity with Deceuninck – Quick-Step

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Bennett admits he was feeling the pressure to get an early win after joining his dream team for 2020.

The Irish national champion make the transfer from Bora-Hansgrohe to Deceuninck – Quick-Step in the off-season, taking on the coveted role as their lead sprinter.

Despite his outstanding run of results in 2019, Bennett has admitted the tension was high as he joined the Quick-Step winning factory.

But the 29-year-old held his nerve and delivered on the first real opportunity, taking stage honours on the opening day of the 2020 Tour Down Under.

You can view highlights from the opening stage of the race here. 

Speaking after the stage, Bennett said: “I’d be lying if I’d say I didn’t feel the pressure to get that first win. I am very happy it came today, on the very first stage of the season’s first race and I can’t thank my incredible team-mates enough, because the result is down to their amazing effort.”

The opening stage of the TDU, a 150km high-speed run around Tanunda, north of Adelaide, proved to be another Quick-Step sprinting masterclass.

After holding back in the final 10km, the Quick-Step train hit the front of the bunch 1,500metres from the line, with Shane Archbold putting in a concerted effort to get his team-mate in place.

Bennett then launched off Michael Mørkøv’s wheel, holding Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) at bay to take victory in the first WorldTour race of the season.

>>> Tour Down Under 2020 odds: Here are the favourites to take the overall victory 

He added: “The team is very confident in me and the way they rode was amazing and gave me great confidence. There’s a lot of experience in this squad, and they showed it today, together with that unique Wolfpack spirit, which you can feel it immediately.

“Everybody did a fantastic job and played a superb role, keeping me in position and making sure I was where I had to be in order to fight for the victory. The week has just started and I hope other good results will soon follow.”

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.