Sam Bennett won Ireland’s second stage of La Vuelta 2020 on Friday. The Carrick-on-Suir man took stage 4 in Ejea de los Caballeros, just 24 hours after Dan Martin’s victory.
Bennett, winner of the green jersey in this year’s Tour de France, beat Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen and Italy’s Jakub Marecszo in a sprint finish to narrowly take the stage win at the end of the 191.7 kilometres.
Today’s success is Bennett’s third Vuelta stage win and his sixth in a Grand Tour.
UAE Team Emirates and Bora-Hansgrohe went to the front of the peloton late on, before Philipsen moved clear 200 metres from the finish.
However, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Bennett went on the Belgian’s wheel and won by a bike length to secure his first win at this year’s La Vuelta.
“It was so fast on the run-in, I was a bit nervous,” said the winning Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider.
“I had the power but he (Philipsen) was so explosive out of the corner and I didn’t know if I would catch him” the 30-year-old explained.
“I found the speed I needed, and in the end, I managed to overtake him and take my first win since Champs-Élysées, which feels amazing”, a delighted Bennett said after picking up Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 39th victory of the year.
Defending champion Primoz Roglic remains in the overall lead, five seconds ahead of Ireland’s Dan Martin with Richard Carapaz in third.
Stage four result
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
2. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates)
3. Jakub Mareczko (ICCC)
General classification after stage four
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 16hrs 30mins 53secs
2. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +5secs
3. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) +13secs