Overhead video shows Bennett & Sagan tangle in messy sprint

Posted on: January 28th, 2019

Peter Sagan San Juan Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett became detached from his lead-out men and then his and Peter Sagan’s paths crossed at a vital moment in the sprint to the line at the end of Vuelta a San Juan stage 1.

 

Sam Bennett has said he lost his lead-out man, Peter Sagan, in the sprint at the end of stage 1 at the Vuelta a San Juan.

Sagan did an excellent job trying to work for Bennett. And close to the line he veered to the right, in the belief Bennett was about to pass him on his left.

Instead, Bennett had followed the wheel of Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), who went on to win the day.

And in his efforts to move out of Bennett’s way and give him the quickest way past, Sagan accidentally drifted into the Irishman’s path.

With Sagan drifting towards him to his left and Gaviria to his right, Bennett was forced to stall and lost momentum at a key moment.

In the end he had to settle for 3rd and explained later that Bora-hansgrohe’s rivals believed Sagan was targeting the stage win, leading to a scramble for his wheel.

 

 

 

“The guys put in a very strong effort all day to control the race and make sure I was well-placed for the sprint finish,” Bennett said.

“We reached the final stretch in the front but it was very difficult for me to stay on Peter’s wheel as many sprinters thought he was going to contest the stage win.

“It was hard to get a clear line but I was able to cross 3rd in a very tight sprint,” he added of his first race of the year.

Team sports directeur Jan Valach said while Bennett had a rough time in the sprint, he did well to take 3rd under the circumstances.

“The team did an excellent job throughout the day, pulling at the front of the peloton in order to control and bring back the two breakaways,” he said.

“The guys then worked in the finale to position Sam Bennett for the sprint with Peter heading the lead-out train.

“Unfortunately, Sam got squeezed in the end but still managed to get 3rd in a very close finish.”

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