Sam Bennett settles for third in penultimate stage in Australia

Irish rider finishes with a flourish but can’t reel in leaders in Santos Tour Down Under

Sam Bennett finished third in the fifth stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. Photograph: Brenton Edwards/Getty/AFP

Sam Bennett finished third in the fifth stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. Photograph: Brenton Edwards/Getty/AFP

 

Sam Bennett put in a blazingly-fast sprint on the penultimate stage of the Santos Tour Down Under on Saturday but had to be content with third place, after the riders ahead of him opened a decisive gap just as the sprint unfolded.

Bennett was closing rapidly on stage winner Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) and Simone Consonni (Cofidis Solutions Credits) but ran out of road. Had the line been 50 metres further he would have won the stage, but said afterwards he was satisfied with his performance.

“We left it late this time, but a gap opened up in the last corner, which was then hard to close,” he said. “Today we tried some new things in the final, so overall it was a good learning curve. I am happy with how I felt on the climb, with the form I had here and the team’s incredible work.”

He is riding his first stage race with his Deceuninck-QuickStep team and they are still perfecting the leadout train. “We still have to fine-tune some small details, but I think we can be satisfied with the week we had here,” said Bennett, who won the opening stage, was second on Friday and is fourth in the points classification.

Defending champion Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) grabbed the race lead by virtue of intermediate time bonuses. He is two seconds clear of Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) heading into Sunday’s concluder, with Robert Power (Team Sunweb) a further seven seconds back.

Santos Tour Down Under, Australia (WorldTour)

Stage 5, Glenelg to Victor Harbour: 1, Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) 149.1 kilometres in 3 hours 32 mins 45 secs; 2, S. Consonni (Cofidis Solutions Credits); 3, S. Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep); 4, M. Mørkøv (Deceuninck-QuickStep); 5, J. Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates); 6, A. Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) all same time

General classification: 1, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) 17 hours 12 mins 15 secs; 2, R. Porte (Trek-Segafredo) at 2 secs; 3, R. Power (Team Sunweb) at 9 secs; 4, S. Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) at 13 secs; 5, G. Bennett (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 16 secs; 6, D. Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) at mins 17 secs

Irish: 62, S. Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 5 mins 18 secs

Points: 1, Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) 63; 2, D. Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) 48; 3, C. Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 47

Irish: 4, S. Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick Step) 42

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