Sam Bennett in the Volta a Catalunya. Pic: BORAhansgrohe
Carrick on Suir’s Sam Bennett ftook a podium place in a stage of the Volta a Catalunya in Spain at the weekend.
Bennett took third place on the penultimate stage of the Volta a Catalunya.
A duo built the breakaway of the day and made it to the finish line. BORA – hansgrohe set the pace in the peloton, Jay McCarthy started the sprint for his teammate Sam Bennett. The Irish sprinter took the win out of a reduced bunch and crossed the line in third place.
“It´s a pity we didn't catch the two leaders, but they rode strong and deserve the win. I felt good today, my legs come better and better. Coming to Catalunya I missed some race kilometres, but now I think my shape is coming good, which is important for the upcoming races," Sam said afterwards.
The penultimate stage was shortened due to snow and covered 114km instead of 194.2km. The race started in Pobla de Segur and had one intermediate sprint and one categorised climb before the race finished in Torrefarrera. It was a stage earmarked for the fast men in the peloton.
The Team Tactics
The tactic was to stay in the peloton to save energy for the finale. A bunch sprint was expected, therefore BORA – hansgrohe tried to go for a good result with their sprinter Sam Bennett.
The race was marked by pouring rain all-day, but the pace was high right from the start. After some kilometres a duo formed the breakaway of the day and built up a maximum gap of four minutes. The peloton started to close the gap with 33km remaining. BORA – hansgrohe and Mitchelton-Scott took the lead of the peloton, but the breakaway worked very well together and had always a gap of some seconds.
As the race headed into the finale, the duo was still in front of the race and it wasn’t possible for the peloton to close the gap. In a sprint M. Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) took the win ahead of D. Rubio (Burgos-BH). The reduced bunch was some seconds behind, where BORA – hansgrohe led the race. Jay McCarthy set the pace and made the final lead-out for his teammate Sam Bennett. The Irish sprinter took the win out of a reduced bunch and crossed the line in third place.