INVERELL'S Dylan Sunderland had a promising start to his Tour Down Under campaign after leading the first stage in the break for much of the day.
Sunderland, riding for the UCI World Tour team, NTT Pro Cycling, was in a four-man break from the first lap of the stage - a five-lap, 150km race around the Barossa Valley Way at Tanunda.
The 23-year-old and the break were reeled back in during the last lap of the relatively flat stage, which is more suited to the sprinters.
Sunderland crossed the finish in the peloton, claiming 61st position.
He collected three points in the sprinters jersey competition, as well as one point in the king of the mountain classification.
"Yeah it was actually quite a nice day out there, I didn't mind it, it was quite relaxing out there not having to fight for a position being the first stage," he said after the race.
"It was a nice easy day, I tried to pick up some bonus seconds, and yeah, managed to get a few seconds."
Armidale's Sam Jenner - riding for the UniSA team - crossed the first stage in 84th position.
On Wednesday, the boys will head for the Adelaide Hills in stage two of the tour, as they complete four laps of Woodside and surrounds before a sprint finish into Stirling. The 135.8km-stage will start at 11am.
"[Wednesday's] going to be a very hard stage with Stirling, it's going to be one of the ones that bites at the end, and I think I'm going to have to recover really well [today] and see how I feel [tomorrow]," Sunderland said.
It's Sunderland's second crack at the tour. In 2019, in his first World Tour event, the Inverell native, finished 30th overall in the tour, which is Australia's premier cycling race.