Ireland’s Sam Bennett sprints in for fifth victory and yellow jersey

Posted on: August 11th, 2017

Sam Bennett Czech Cycling Tour

Sam Bennett romps home for his fifth win of the season. He shows no signs of slowing down as some tasty end of season goals remain.


Sam Bennett wins stage at Czech Cycling Tour


Irish cyclist Sam Bennett has sprinted to his fifth win of the season on stage 2 of the Czech Cycling Tour (UCI 2.1).

The stage, some 200km from Olomouc to Frydek-Mistek, finished on an uphill stretch after almost 5½ hours in the saddle.

And Bennett made no mistake after a fantastic lead-out from his Bora-hansgrohe team mates.

The squad finished 2nd in the 18.6km team TT that got the race underway yesterday. It lost three seconds to winners Elkov-Author Cycling Team.

And the outcome of both stages means Bennett heads the general classification.

He took a 10 second time bonus for his stage win and now leads Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) by 5 seconds overall. Tratnik was 2nd in the sprint today to Bennett.

As Elkov-Author Cycling Team won the TTT, its riders fill places 3rd to 7th overall, some 6 and 7 seconds off Bennett in yellow. The Irish rider also leads the points classification.

Bennett’s victory today was the latest in a series of wins he has taken in 2017.

He won Race Melbourne at the start of the year followed by a stage win at Paris-Nice, his first ever WorldTour win.

He also took two stages in the Tour of Slovenia and held the yellow jersey in that race.


Sam Bennett Czech Cycling Tour


“I didn’t feel too good during the day, maybe because it was really hot,” Sam Bennett said after his latest victory today.

“Schwarzi and Juraj did an amazing job to control the race. In the end, Pascal delivered me so fast. I just had to go from 200-100m at full gas, then I already knew I had the win.

“I am really happy, because on a day the team puts in such an immense effort, the pressure is on to finish it off, but I did it in the end.

“We have to see how the race goes tomorrow. But if I can survive, there is a good chance to keep the yellow jersey also on the last stage.”

A four-man escape was clear for most of today’s stage. But Bennett’s team controlled the front of the bunch.

They brought back the breakaway before delivering the Irishman to the front in the gallop.

Sam Bennett has just extended his contract with Bora-hansgrohe. And his sports director Jan Valach praised his efforts in winning at the Czech Cycling Tour today.

“Everybody is watching us here in this race, so we had to pull right from the start when the break went up the road,” he said.

“With Juraj and Schwarzi we controlled the gap at two minutes. In the end, we closed to fight for the win in a sprint.

“Pascal did a huge turn to Sam in front on the last 500m, and Sam finished it off perfectly.

“I am very happy with this result and team effort. We are in yellow now, and also tomorrow we will have to control the race.”

The Czech Cycling Tour concludes on Sunday. Both remaining stages are undulating, with an especially testing finishing circuit on Sunday.

However, Bennett may get another chance to sprint for victory and clinch the overall title.