Sam Bennett takes first WorldTour win for BORA – hansgrohe.
With a perfectly timed sprint, Sam Bennett confidently took the 3rd stage at Paris – Nice. This means the first ever World Tour win for him and BORA – hansgrohe.
For the first time in this year’s edition of Paris – Nice, the riders started in dry conditions – a great relief for the riders. Nevertheless, again it was cold on 3rd stage over 190k to Chalon-Sur-Saône.
From the sharp start a group of 3 riders attacked. After the demanding last days, the peloton decided to take it a little easy and the breakaway’s advantage grew fast to more than 5 minutes.
After the gap increased to almost 8 minutes, the sprinter teams took over control in the peloton after the feeding zone. The distance between break and bunch decreased immediately and at the foot of the first KOM of the day the gap was down to 4:00.
When at the second and last KOM of the day, with 25k to go, the gap was just one minute, it was just a matter of time when the escapees will be brought back from the peloton. At 3k the pack was back together and everything was set for a bunch sprint.
BORA – hansgrohe was fighting hard on the left side to move up with Sam Bennett. First Michael Kolar and then Juraj Sagan did the lead-out, when Patrick Konrad came from behind with 500m to go. Sam jumped on his wheel and with the momentum he found himself in a perfect position as he decided to go at 200m to the line. It was a perfectly timed sprint which ended with the first ever WorldTour win for Sam Bennett and BORA – hansgrohe.
“I chased that first WorldTour win quite a while and I feel big relief now. The boys did an awesome job. First Michael and Juraj brought me up and then with 500m to go Patrick came also from behind with lots of speed. I was able to jump on his wheel and with that momentum I was perfectly placed with 300m to go. I launched my sprint at 200m and I always felt I could win. It is just a great feeling now to have that win under my belt. I suffered a lot last year in the Tour de France after my crash in the first stage, but I did hang on and rode all the way until Paris. To finish that Grand Tour I think brought me to another level.” – Sam Bennett