Bennett doesn’t miss his opportunity

September 7 th 2019 - 17:38

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) has enjoyed one of the very few flat stages of La Vuelta 19 to take a second stage win, in Oviedo. A crash derailed the sprinters in the last kilometre and the Irish stormed to victory ahead of Max Richeze (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal). Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was delayed by the crash but he didn’t fall himself. The Slovenian retains La Roja ahead of two big mountain stages.

A 163-man pack rolls from San Vicente de la Barquera without Domingo Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), forced to abandon due to a stomach bug. A group of six riders break away after 10km: Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Luka Pibernik (Bahrain-Merida), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Salvatore Puccio (Team Ineos), Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis). The gap is up to 1’40” when Fabio Jakobsen’s Deceuninck-Quick Step and Sam Bennett’s Bora-Hansgrohe start driving the bunch, at km 16.

They quickly receive the help of UAE Team Emirates, Mitchelton-Scott, Trek-Segafredo and Jumbo-Visma. The gap is controlled between 1 and 2 minutes. Stéphane Rossetto is dropped from the leading group with 67km to go. The attackers’ lead is up to 2’07” when the race enters the last 50km.

Valverde and Pogacar hit the deck

The intensity picks up in the last 40km. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) and Jempy Drucker (Bora-Hansgrohe) attack in the only climb of the day but Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) quickly reels them in. The gap to the front of the race is down to 50” at the summit (22.6km to go).

Diego Rubio is dropped from the leading group with 13km to go. The peloton only trails by 27”. The last attackers are caught inside the last 5km. Everything looks set for a bunch gallop but a massive crash happens with 1km to go. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) isn’t involved and he storms to victory. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is delayed but he doesn’t fall himself. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) suffer slow speed crash. No change on GC as the incident happen in the last kilometre.

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