Stickybottle

Sam Bennett talks fatigue, “getting a kicking” and winning again

Posted on: March 13th, 2019

Sam Bennett Kuurne Brussel Kuurne Paris Nice

Sam Bennett has continued his prolific early season run; three stage wins in each of the stage races he’s ridden so far. It’s all going great for the Bora-hansgrohe fastman from Carrick-on-Suir.

 

Twelve months ago Sam Bennett went to Paris-Nice and abandoned, but that was a distant memory yesterday.

The Carrick-on-Suir took a fantastic victory well ahead of many of the best sprinters in the world.

That victory was his third of the season, establishing something of a 100 per cent strike rate.

He’s ridden Vuelta a San Juan, UAE Tour and now Paris-Nice and won stages in all three. That strike rate seemed to bring him as much satisfaction as winning yesterday.

“The last three races I’ve gone to now I’ve won a stage in each, so I’m showing a bit of consistency which I’m happy with,” he said.

“Last year I was sick before the race but I had to try at Paris-Nice. But I’m happy to come back and take another victory.”

Asked about not being selected for the Giro and the impact that had on his plans for the season, Bennett took a pragmatic approach.

“The Giro isn’t in my head and each race I go to I just try to get the best results I can. I just focus on the moment.”

Sam Bennett added while he hadn’t been sceptical before about riders taking time to adjust from hot conditions to the cold, recent days had proven it for him.

He had suffered bad legs on the opening two stages despite his great early season condition. And he had now come good again to win.

“It’s the hardest thing, mentally; when I was getting a kicking the last two days. To be able to win is good for the head, so I think it was the cold.”

 

 

He added when he got up out of bed yesterday he felt exhausted but shook that off pretty quickly.

“I woke up and I felt like week three he a Grand Tour,” he explained. “And on the bus I was really tired but once I threw the leg over the bike I was really good.

“It’s nice to come back and win again here,” Bennett said of his second Paris-Nice stage win after triumphing, also on stage 3, two years ago.

“I knew it was my last real sprint opportunity so I did all I could. I’m very proud of that and very proud of the job the team have done for me.

“There’s strong competition here and last week. I’m starting to show I can compete with the best.

“Groenewegen was just super strong the past two days, I think unbeatable,” he added of the race leader who won the first two stages.

“I had bad legs, really bad legs the past two days. I don’t know if it was coming from the heat to the cold, I haven’t really been training in the cold this winter.

“I knew that the form was there and that I just had to keep on trying. Today the legs were a lot better, it was an easier day but I’m starting to get a bit more used to the cold.

“The boys did a great job; they knew exactly what to do on the last kilometre and delivered me in a perfect position.

“I want to thank the whole Bora-hansgrohe squad. I am more than happy with this stage win.

“I really wanted to pay back the hard work of the guys. It was a long sprint, but I knew I could do it. It seems like Paris-Nice likes me like I like the race.”

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