Victorious on Wednesday's opening stage of the Tour of Bavaria race, Irish sprinter Sam Bennett performed well again to finish fourth on yesterday's second leg of the race, but lost the race leader's yellow jersey nonetheless.
Bennett reached the line just behind the day's winner, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), who he had bettered on Wednesday. Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was second and Movistar's Enrique Sanz placed third.
Once the time bonuses were calculated, Bennett found himself third overall, four seconds behind Degenkolb. He told The Irish Times afterwards that he had started his sprint too far back.
“I think I was about 10th when the sprint started,” he said. “I moved up to fourth by the line, but needed to be closer before it began.”
Bennett had a bad crash in last month’s Scheldepris race, putting him out of competition for several weeks, and admitted Thursday that the fall was playing on his mind and likely made him too cautious.
Irvine for Rás
In other news, former world track race champion Martyn Irvine is the latest rider to be confirmed for the 1,200km An Post Rás, which begins in Dunboyne on Sunday. Irvine took the world scratch race title in 2013 and showed strong form when he soloed to a dominant win in the Shay Elliott Memorial race in Wicklow last weekend.
His Madison Genesis team has decided to put him into the race, and he will try to repeat his stage win from 2011.
“I have been training well and watching my power numbers creep up in recent weeks,” Irvine said.
As Irvine's British team- mate, Erick Rowsell, recently finished eighth in the Tour of Yorkshire, he will start with the protected rider status of general classification leader.
However, Irvine noted that the unpredictable nature of the race could put him in that position.
There will 15 international squads in the race, including Madison Genesis, the Irish registered, Belgium-based An Post Chain Reaction
team, and the Austria Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang squad of 2014 race winner
There will be 18 Irish domestic teams.