MARJAN ISLAND – Irish rider Sam Bennett claimed the sprinting honours with a fiftieth career win on the fourth stage of the UAE Tour on Wednesday as Slovenian Tadej Pogacar retained the chief’s red jersey.
Bennett, driving for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, beat David Dekker, Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani on the finish of the 204-kilometre stage that began and ended on the vacationer resort of Marjan Island.
“It feels good to win my first sprint of the season,” stated the 30-year-old who gained the Tour de France sprint inexperienced jersey in 2020.
“I was really nervous before the sprint because it was the first fast bunch finish of the year for me.”
Pogacar, of UAE Team Emirates, retains a 43-second cushion over British Ineos Grenadiers rider Adam Yates in the overall classification.
“It was a pretty long and hot day in the saddle,” stated Tour de France champion Pogacar.
“It was a shame that our sprinter Fernando Gaviria didn’t win, but we have another opportunity tomorrow,” he added, referring to Thursday’s fifth stage which ends at Jebel Jais, for the second summit end of the occasion.
Poacar was already focussed on clinching the Tour itself, which could possibly be achieved Thursday on the culminating 21km climb, with Yates and third-placed Joao Almeida nonetheless lurking shut sufficient to punish any slip by the Slovenian.
“The next stage is going to be super hard. We all know how strong Adam Yates is. I hope to have good legs again,” added Pogacar.
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome can be on the occasion, albeit in a bid to boost his health and get to know his new teammates at Israel Start-Up Nation.
“This is the next step in my preparations to be ready for the Tour de France,” Froome stated Saturday. He then informed the British day by day the Guardian this week: “I obviously have a long way to go.”
The 35-year-old winner of seven Grand Tours sits in forty third right here, 14mins and 59sec off the tempo.
Italian veteran Vincenzo Nibali — the one different lively rider in the peloton to have gained all three Grand Tours — can be warming up for the Grand Tour season right here and sits in 18th position, 10min 42sec behind Pogacar.