Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was unable to contest the bunch sprint at the end of yesterday’s long third stage of Paris-Nice, after a rider crashed into him on the run-in to the line. He sustained a cut to one of his fingers in the crash and required stiches.
Just as he was preparing to launch his sprint on the uphill drag to La Châtre, the Irish Champion was shoved into the barriers by Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) and went down, where he remained for a couple of minutes, before eventually crossing the line surrounded by his teammates and in pain.
One of the main favourites on what was going to be the first bunch sprint of this year’s Paris-Nice, Bennett was up there in the tense and aggressive finale, but that incident stopped him from fighting for the win. After the stage, Bennett was examined by the Deceuninck – Quick-Step medical staff, and fortunately, it was soon revealed that he hadn’t sustained any fractures, just a gash in one of his right hand fingers, which required four stitches.
“I lost some skin and needed those stitches, because when I went into the barrier, I hit the metal part, but luckily, everything else seems pretty ok. In the beginning, as I was lying on the road and there was a bit of shock, as I had no idea how serious it was, but it’s a good thing nothing is broken. I will continue the race and start Wednesday’s individual time trial. I’m quite happy it will be a short stage tomorrow and I hope things will turn around for me at some point”, Bennett said at the team hotel.