The sprinters were expected to return to centre stage on day four of the 2020 Tour Down Under.
Riders faced a 152km run from Norwood in Adelaide to Murray Bridge south east of the city, with a fast, flat and technical run to the line.
After an opening 70km that gradually gained altitude, the peloton then took on a 1.2km, 6.7 per cent average climb at Mount Torrens, before beginning the long downhill rush to close out the stage.
With a treacherous narrow section inside 2km and a sharp right turn onto the finish straight with 200 metres to race, the sprinters would need to stay up front and out of trouble if they wanted to fight for victory.
You can read the full race report from stage four here.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was amongst the favourites after taking the win on the opening day of the TDU 2020, but Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) made up for earlier mistakes on day two when he took the victory,
Day three was the first of the general classification stages, as Richie Porte annihilated that competition on the final climb and took stage honours.
There were still big name sprinters who have missed out on their chances so far – Elia Viviani is yet to find his feet with his new Cofidis lead-out, while André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) looks to be reinvigorated but has not yet taken a win.
Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) had been consistent in the sprints during the first two days, but will be keen to notch a victory to match his win from the 2019 edition.
There are also plenty of general classification contenders looking to hold onto their hopes and make it safely through the day.
Mitchelton-Scott’s Impey is in the mix again as he looks to take a third consecutive victory, but Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) will have other ideas as he looks to take his second overall win and dominate on Willunga Hill for another year.
Other contenders include Rohan Dennis, who is looking for a fresh start with Team Ineos.
The six-stage race is centred around Adelaide in the south of Australia with the race set to be decided on the now-famous Willunga Hill.
Richie Porte has won the Willinga Hill stage for six years running, but last year it was Impey who finished the stage in third on the same time as Porte and secured the overall victory by 13 seconds.
We will be bringing you race reports and highlights throughout the week of racing.