Bennett calls out other sprinters after dash to victory on Paris-Nice Stage 5

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) launched off the back of a superb leadout by his team to take a comfortable victory on Stage 5 of Paris-Nice in a bunch sprint in Bollène. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) overcame a crash in the final hour of racing to finish safely in the peloton and retain the overall lead.

79th Paris - Nice 2021 - Stage 5, Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett of Deceuninck-Quick-Step wins Stage 5 of Paris-Nice Source: Getty

Bennett recovered from being bumped from lead-out man Michael Mørkøv's wheel inside the final two kilometres, positioning himself at the front of affairs through a late roundabout and refinding his position in the Deceuninck-QuickStep train.

He was slotted in behind three Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates as the peloton entered the final kilometre, the team delivering him perfectly to just within 200 metres remaining of the finishing straight, with Bennett delivering in style from there.

"I was suffering the last few kilometres," said Bennett. "I don't know what it is, but people won't let me follow my own train here and it's frustrating in the final. I just got back on just before the roundabout. It was a very hard final. I didn't think I'd hold it to the line, but the guys did an incredible job and I'm proud that I could finish it off."

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Bennett was squeezed off his leadout's wheel after a brief shouldering with Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and then finding Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) and Pascal Ackermann in his way. Bennett then came around the outside to re-establish himself at the rear of the sprint train, using up some energy, but putting himself in the perfect spot for the finish.

"For some reason, I'm not being left to follow my own wheel," said Bennett. "Guys are coming in and they just wanted to disrupt our sprint instead of concentrating on their own race. We don't look at anybody else, so I don't know why they're getting so fixated on us. Maybe not me, but maybe my teammates are too strong."

In a stage that had no significant breakaways that gained significant time over the peloton, there was still a bit of action on the road. Race leader Roglič was involved in a crash with 35 kilometres remaining. The Slovenian crashed together with his Jumbo-Visma teammate Tony Martin, who was forced to abandon after sustaining a broken elbow.

Roglič was able to remount quickly and he re-joined the peloton almost immediately, though when fellow overall contenders Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Ion Izagirre (Astana Premier Tech) and Tiesj Benoot (DSM) attacked, Roglič wasn't present to fight them for the bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint with 15km to go.

In the overall standings, Schachmann his intent to defend his overall title with aggressive racing, and now trails Roglic by 31 seconds, while Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) remains third at 37 seconds.

Paris-Nice continues with Stage 6 tonight, with the SBS HD and SBS On Demand broadcast getting underway from 12.15am AEDT. A 203 kilometre stage from Brignoles to Biot, with enough climbs to make it hard for sprinters and a breakaway looking likely.




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3 min read
Published 12 March 2021 at 7:55am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS