Chapman attacked on lap five of the eight-lap circuit course, with American Tayler Wiles delivering a podium for Trek-Segafredo in third.
“I’m a bit addicted to gambling in a bike race,” she said. “Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. Today was about having fun and really racing.”
Temperatures soared into the 90s for the races in Torquay, home of Australian surfing. The hilly courses and summer temperatures made for an animated day of racing. The new event kept the peloton busy ahead of Sunday’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
The men’s race finished in a mass gallop, with Bennett finishing off a perfect leadout from his Quick-Step teammates. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Racing) and Alberto Dianese (Sunweb) rounded out the podium.
“The guys did an amazing job all day,” said Bennett, who won a stage at the Santos Tour Down Under last week. “It was pretty hard at the start after a few days off so we had to get the legs going but when the race was a bit more controlled the boys came up and said the other sprinters were suffering a bit. I said the harder we go the better we’re feeling so let’s start racing.”
Racing continues this weekend with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, with the women racing Saturday and the men on Sunday.