Irish delight as Bennett wins stage three, Roche stays in red

By Sports Desk August 26, 2019

Sam Bennett celebrated his first Vuelta a Espana stage win as compatriot Nicolas Roche maintained his race lead on another fine day for the Irish.

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Bennett's three prior Grand Tour stage victories all came at the 2018 Giro d'Italia, but he added a breakthrough Spanish triumph on Monday.

The sprinter was among the favourites for the 188-kilometre ride to Alicante and delivered in fine fashion, his pace too much for the other contenders in the final stretch.

Bora-Hansgrohe were well placed, alongside Team Sunweb, heading into the final 1.5km and a bold move from Trek-Segafredo created an opening for Bennett.

He darted clear and won by two bike lengths in a time of four hours, 25 minutes and two seconds.

It was Bennett's 12th stage victory of the season and Ireland's first at the Vuelta since Roche took stage 18 in 2015.

But Sunweb star Roche was happy to stay out of the limelight after a strong ride on Sunday, settling for a place in the peloton that kept second-placed Nairo Quintana two seconds behind.

 

'BORA TEAM-MATES GOT ME THERE'

Bennett lauded his Bora-Hansgrohe colleagues after the victory, saying: "I felt so bad yesterday, I can't tell you how bad my legs were in the stage.

"The team got me in the right place at the right time. If it wasn't for the team effort today I definitely wouldn't have got it.

"I went with momentum to the left, got on Trek and I knew it was a really fast finish and kicked first. I think Trek waited a little bit too long.

"I'm delighted to get it. It means a lot to take a Grand Tour stage victory, especially in the Irish national champion's jersey."

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:25:02
2. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)
3. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott)
4. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
5. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) 9:51:14
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +00:02
3. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +00:08

Points Classification

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 25
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 25
3. Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) 20

King of the Mountains

1. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Burgos BH) 14
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 5
3. Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) 4

WHAT'S NEXT?

For those sprinters who dug in for Monday's ride, the reward is a 175.5km dash from Cullera to El Puig, which should provide opportunity for a frantic finish.

Related items

  • Froome provides upbeat update on recovery progress after surgery Froome provides upbeat update on recovery progress after surgery

    Chris Froome has undergone successful surgery to remove metalwork from his hip and elbow as he continues his recovery from several serious injuries.

    Four-time Tour de France champion Froome has been out of action since June, after he sustained a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs in a crash on a training run for the Criterium du Dauphine.

    The 34-year-old underwent emergency surgery in France before beginning his recovery, with Team INEOS providing a video update on Froome's progress in August.

    Froome, who is hopeful of participating in the 2020 Tour de France, confirmed on social media in September that he was back on the road, subsequently taking part in the time trial event at the Saitama Criterium, alongside team-mate and 2019 Le Tour champion Egan Bernal.

    On Friday, Froome provided a further update, revealing he has had the surgery required to remove the metalwork from his body had been a success.

    "Less (sic) some hardware from my hip and elbow," Froome tweeted. "Feeling groggy but all went perfectly."

  • Cavendish makes Team Bahrain Merida move Cavendish makes Team Bahrain Merida move

    Mark Cavendish said he has achieved a "long-held ambition" by joining Team Bahrain Merida for the 2020 season.

    Cavendish's future has been the subject of much speculation since he was overlooked by Dimension Data for the Tour de France this year.

    The 34-year-old sprint star  - winner of 48 Grand Tour stages with 30 in the Tour - has been confirmed as a new recruit for the joint venture between the Kingdom of Bahrain and McLaren.

    Cavendish will be reunited with his former coach Rod Ellingworth, Bahrain's team principal, and joins Mikel Landa, Wout Poels and Dylan Teuns in an impressive line-up.

    "Joining this team is the fulfilment of a long-held ambition for me and is super exciting and motivating. You could even say a dream come true," said Cavendish.

    "Having worked closely with McLaren in the past, and seen the benefits of their technology and processes, this was an opportunity I jumped at.

    "My relationship with Rod goes way back, and he's been instrumental in helping me develop as a rider and a person.

    "I can't wait to join my new team-mates and do everything I can to help us achieve the successes I know will come."

    Ellingworth said: "Mark's signing completes our rider roster for 2020 and gives us the balance the team needs to win. Mark is a proven champion and has a lot to contribute – both on and off the bike.

    "Having last worked with him at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Qatar World Championships, I've been delighted to see that his energy and determination to succeed are greater now than ever. We're going to do everything in our power to enable him to perform at his best."

  • Teenage rider Maas unlikely to walk again after Piccolo Lombardia crash Teenage rider Maas unlikely to walk again after Piccolo Lombardia crash

    Team Sunweb's teenage rider Edo Maas is unlikely to walk again after breaking his back following a collision with a car this month.

    The 19-year-old Dutchman was rushed to hospital in Milan after suffering severe injuries in an accident on the descent of the Madonna del Ghisallo during the Piccolo Lombardia.

    Maas underwent multiple operations this week but has lost the feeling in both of his legs.

    A statement from Maas' family said: "Edo is now fully conscious and has been awake for a couple of days, and responds well to family and visiting team-mates. The fractures to his back and the injuries on his face required multiple intensive surgeries over the last week, all of which were successful.

    "Edo is currently processing the diagnosis that the fracture in his back has led to paraplegia, a loss of nerve feeling in his legs. At this moment it remains unlikely that functionality in his legs will ever return, but fighting power and hope prevails.

    "At this stage no further information on Edo's condition is available. We ask to respect Edo and the family's privacy, as they process this difficult news. Another update will be provided when necessary."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.