• Bora-Hansgrohe's Sam Bennett celebrates his victory on the third stage of the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine (Getty)Source: Getty
Sam Bennett's sprint finish on Stage 3 of the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné was so dominant, he sat up and started his victory salute 20 metres before the line.
Cycling Central

12 Jun 2019 - 3:13 AM  UPDATED 12 Jun 2019 - 9:43 AM

The 28-year-old BORA-hangrohe sprinter has been in a determined mood this season picking up seven stage victories including two at Paris-Nice but still not enough to make his case for inclusion in the Tour de France team.

“It was a bit nervous today. I always find it harder when I’m the point of reference in the sprint," Bennett said.

"Today the other sprinters were watching where I was, it was hard to put everything together because GC riders and sprinters were all towards the front but it worked really well in the end.

"My team-mates worked very well all day. They rode at the front and they were there to position me in the final. At the last moment, I told [lead out man] Shane [Archbold] that I was still feeling good.

"I’m trying to get a stage win at every stage race I take part in. Only at the Tour de Romandie, I didn’t this year. I just try to keep improving myself, keep the consistency and keep going as a rider.”

The Dauphiné overall leader Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Merida) retained his position as all the ranked GC contenders including Chris Froome (INEOS), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Australian Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) finished together.

“It wasn’t easy to recover from yesterday’s efforts during today’s stage because of the bad weather, Teuns said. "The cold also made the race really hard but I had no issues in the finale so everything went well for my first day in the yellow-blue jersey."

Natnael Berhane (Cofidis) and Quentin Pacher (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels)led a long breakaway on the stage from Le Puy-en-Velay to Riom but were caught up with just five kilometres left to race.

That set up the bunch sprint where Bennett came out ahead of Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and the Davide Ballerini (Astana).

Ahead of the peloton for Stage 4 is a 21.6km individual time-trial held in Roanne which will reset the top of the general classification.

"It’s a big day tomorrow, also for me to try and keep the jersey," Teuns said. "At the Tour of Valencia, I was only one second slower than Tony Martin in the individual time trial and I’m now in really good shape so I have to believe in myself.

"I’ve prepared very well for the Dauphiné and what’s coming after. I’m really happy about the form. Hopefully, it’ll give me some more success soon.”