Vuelta a Espana: Sam Bennett sprints to victory on stage four

Cycling
Sam Bennett overhauls Jasper Philipsen to win stage four of the Vuelta a Espana

Irishman Sam Bennett continued his superb season by sprinting to victory on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana.

Bennett, who won the green points jersey in this year’s Tour de France, reeled in and passed Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen in the final 200 metres, with Italy’s Jakub Mareczko taking third.

It is Bennett’s third Vuelta stage win and a sixth in a Grand Tour.

Defending champion Primoz Roglic remains in the overall lead, five seconds ahead of Ireland’s Dan Martin.

“It was so fast on the run-in, I was a bit nervous,” said Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Bennett, 30.

“But then the whole team came together when we needed to and they did a fantastic job.”

After Friday’s breakaway, which included Britain’s Harry Tanfield, was caught with 17 kilometres to go to the finish in Ejea De Los Caballeros, the sprinters’ teams jostled for position on the first flat stage of this year’s race.

Philipsen looked to have caught out his rivals with an early kick for the line, but Bennett showed immense speed to edge out the UAE Team Emirates rider on the line.

“Philipsen got such a jump I didn’t think I was going to catch him, but I got more and more speed up and was still accelerating to the line,” added Bennett, who won two stages in this year’s Tour, including on the Champs-Elysees.

Following Martin’s victory in stage three, this is the first time two different riders representing Ireland have won back-to-back stages on the same Grand Tour.

It was a quiet day for the general classification, with Ineos Grenadiers’ Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz remaining third overall, 13 seconds back, and Britain’s Hugh Carthy in fifth, 38 seconds down on Slovenian Roglic.

Saturday’s stage five is a 184.4km hilly route from Huesca to Sabinanigo.

Stage four result

1. Sam Bennett (Ire/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3hrs 53mins 29secs

2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/UAE Team Emirates) Same time

3. Jakub Mareczko (Ita/CCC)

4. Pascal Akermann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe)

5. Gerben Thijssen (Bel/Lotto-Soudal)

6. Matteo Moschetti (Ita/Trek-Segafredo)

7. Max Kanter (Ger/Team Sunweb)

8. Mihkel Raim (Est/Israel Start-Up Nation)

9. Emmanuel Morin (Fra/Cofidis)

10. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den/EF Pro Cycling)

General classification after stage four

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 16hrs 30mins 53secs

2. Daniel Martin (Ire/Israel Start-Up Nation) +5secs

3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +13secs

4. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +32secs

5. Hugh Carthy (GB/EF Pro Cycling) +38secs

6. Sepp Kuss (US/Jumbo-Visma) +44secs

7. Felix Grossschartner (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 17secs

8. Esteban Chaves (Col/Mitchelton-Scott +1min 29secs

9. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +1min 55secs

10. George Bennett (NZ/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 57secs

Other:

77. Chris Froome (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +37mins 45secs

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