KOM confusion: Jarrad Drizners takes polka dots in TDU countback

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ADELAIDE, Australia (CT) – A countback was required to determine the first king of the mountains leader at the 2020 Tour Down Under. Both Jarrad Drizners (UniSA-Australia) and Joey Rosskopf (CCC) finished stage 1 with five points, with each having won one KOM sprint (worth three points) and placed second in the other (worth two).

In the end it was Drizners, Australia’s recently crowned U23 champion, that was awarded the jersey.

Both Drizners and Rosskopf had been part of a breakaway that formed after the first intermediate sprint, 15 km into the stage. Drizners was never meant to be there.

“It wasn’t really my intention to be in the break today, actually, but I just followed the right move and then snuck myself into that move with three other guys,” Drizners said. “And I was feeling good out there, so I went for it on the KOM, got the maximum points on the first time round.

“Then I got the [intermediate] sprint at about the 75 km mark as well. So my legs were good today.”

Drizners and the rest of the break were caught by the peloton while Rosskopf carried on alone, taking the second KOM. In the bunch, Drizners hadn’t given up.

“My teammate Kell O’Brien led me into [the second KOM] and I jumped the peloton and got second place in that,” he said. “So me and the CCC rider [Rosskopf] were on equal points.”

A since-deleted tweet from the official Tour Down Under account declared Rosskopf the winner of the KOM jersey (see above). Rosskopf’s CCC team also tweeted out that the American would lead the KOM classification.

Both Drizners and Rosskopf told reporters after the stage that they believed the first of the pair across the finish line would wear the KOM jersey on stage 2. But under UCI rules used to break a deadlock (2.6.017 here), the classification would ultimately be decided by the highest placing on GC at day’s end. By winning the second intermediate sprint Drizners gained three bonus seconds which placed him higher than Rosskopf on GC — fifth vs 41st.

Section 2.6.017 of the UCI regulations for road races.

While the KOM jersey is a strong result for the UniSA-Australia national team, Drizners might have bigger goals on the horizon.

“I have more sort of stage ambitions tomorrow and then GC ambitions after that,” the 20-year-old South Australian said. “So hopefully I can recover well and back it up. Yeah, it’s nice to be in the jersey for tomorrow and we’ll see what it brings.”

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