Sam Bennett proved fastest at the end of Sparkassen Münsterland Giro (1.HC) in Germany today, as he narrowly beat former team-mate Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) at the end of the 198.7-kilometre race. The race jury needed to review the photo-finish before the BORA – hansgrohe rider was announced as the winner.
He beat many of the other top sprinters in the world with the likes of Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha – Alpecin) also in the top ten.
A four-man breakaway escaped relatively early and built up a maximum gap of 4 minutes and after 90 kilometres of racing the four men still had a two-minute gap.
With 38 kilometres remaining, a duo attacked out of the breakaway and built a gap of one minute. BORA – hansgrohe riders Andreas Schillinger, Lukas Pöstlberger and Christoph Pfingsten worked hard and set the pace. With only 18km remaining, the peloton caught the duo and the expected bunch sprint was set up.
BORA – hansgrohe brought their leader Bennett into a good position for the finale. In a tight sprint, Bennett crossed the line next to Bauhaus and Greipel and the jury needed a few minutes to look at the photo-finish before the BORA – hansgrohe sprinter was announced the winner.
It was the seventh win of the season for the Irish rider. This season, he has taken victories at Race Melbourne, a stage of Paris-Nice and two stages of both the Tour of Slovenia and the Czech Cycling Tour.
Bennett said at the finish: “It´s an amazing feeling to took the win, especially after this strong startlist here today! It was so close but I am so happy and want to thank my whole team for their great teamwork and work today!”
Sports director André Schulze was more than happy with Sam´s performance, “Our plan was today to wait for the finale. As we came into the city of Münster, our guys took control over the race and brought our sprinters in a good position.
“Schwarzi and Pösti did a good job for Sam. Pösti tried to attack on the Flamme Rouge but was caught 400m before the finish line. Matteo could go for himself today and try after a long time without races. He finished 6th which makes me really happy, he had some health problems the last weeks so I am happy to see him back on the road in a good shape.
“In the sprint Sam was just incredible. The team did a great job and Sam finished this great teamwork with a well-deserved victory. I am more than happy.”
Next up for Bennett is Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey next week.
1 Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) 4:35:27
2 Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) st
3 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
4 Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)
5 Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo)
6 Matteo Pelucchi (BORA – hansgrohe)
7 Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha – Alpecin) at 0:01
8 Roy Jans (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect)
9 Andre Looij (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij)
10 Nicola Toffali (0711|Cycling)