A bold explosive attack launched seconds after he avoided a late crash in a tight hairpin, catapulted Sam Bennett to his third victory for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, on stage 4 of the Vuelta a Burgos; a win that came with a bonus for the 29-year-old in gaining the green jersey.
The stage finale was chaotic, a crash derailing the lead-out trains with Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv amongst those to hit the ground. Bennett, who was in an excellent position courtesy of the work of Kiwi Champion Shane Archbold, was quick to improvise, leaping away with 800 metres to go and showing everyone else a clean pair of wheels. Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) finished second with Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) in third.
Bennett’s team-mate Remco Evenepoel finished safely in the bunch to retain his leader’s jersey, ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.
The sinuous uphill road to the line played into Bennett’s advantage, who maintained his lead and had enough time to sit up and celebrate as he became the first Irishman to claim a win at the Vuelta a Burgos: “I am so happy with this victory! It was the last chance for the sprinters and it’s a win that I really needed, as it came at the right moment just ahead of the August races.”
“The finale was very hard and the hot temperatures made it tougher. We knew it was going to be a hard fight going into the last two corners, but the guys were fantastic and delivered me where I had to be going under the flamme rouge. When the crash happened, I took a quick look around me to see what was happening and saw that everybody paused for a second, so I decided to go and that was it.
“Getting the green jersey is the cherry on the top, but the race isn’t over yet, and on Saturday we’ll try to be again up there and protect Remco”, Bennett concluded in reference to his teammate who continues to lead the general classification.