Sam Bennett nails second sprint win in the Algarve
Irish rider gets perfect lead-out again to take victory in Tavira
Ireland’s Sam Bennett after pipping Danny van Poppel of the Netherlands to the line to win stage three of the Volta Ao Algarve from Faro to Tavira. Photograph: Luc Claessen/Getty Images
This one perhaps required slightly less effort than anticipated and again the execution was near perfect, Sam Bennett winning stage 3 of the five-day Tour of Algarve with plenty in reserve to raise his right arm in triumph, making it two sprint wins out of two.
After Wednesday’s win in stage 1, it also brings Bennett’s winning tally this season to seven, his 56th professional victory in all, again building nicely towards the start of next month’s Tour de France and the defence of his green jersey.
The mostly flat 203km run from Faro to Tavira was played out under hot sunshine, Bennett finishing in 5:02.14 and in the end more than a bike length clear of Dutch rider Danny van Poppel, also second on Wednesday.
Such was the perfect execution of his Deceuninck-Quick-Step lead-out riders, Michael Morkov was able to take control of the front in the last 200m, and ended up third. German rival Pascal Ackermanm of BORA-hansgrohe, despite getting a jump with his lead-out train, could only manage fifth.
“It was a great day, although I think it looked a lot easier on TV,” said Bennett. “I had terrible legs, and didn’t know if I would have the power in the final, and really thought somebody would come around me, but again the team were fantastic.
“I think all the other teams had used up all their lead-out men by the time we got around the last corner, Michael was able to open it up, did an amazing lead-out today. With the heat I am struggling, after a week of training in the rain. Obviously I can’t complain, and it’s really down to my team-mates that I did pull it off.”
With that win Bennett also holds on to his green jersey, the Tour finishing up with a 20km time-trial on Saturday, before a final mountain stage on Sunday.