Bennett burns off rivals to claim stage three victory
Ireland's Sam Bennett produced a powerhouse finish to claim victory on stage three of Paris-Nice.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider held off Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) with the Australian forced to accept second place despite a game effort to hunt down Bennett in the 200km flat stage.
Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-Quick-Step held off Dan McLay to finish third, but Groenewegen - winner of stage one and two - continues to lead overall by six seconds ahead of Team Sky's Michał Kwiatkowski .
“I had really bad legs the last two days,” said Bennett. “I knew that the form was there and I had to just keep trying.
“Today, the legs were a lot better — okay it was a lot easier. But I’m starting to get used to the cold weather. Today was my last sprint opportunity, and I did everything I could.".
Bennett has claimed victories on the final stage of the Vuelta San Juan in Argentina and the UAE Tour in the past two months making this a treble in the opening three months of the year.
“It’s nice to come back and to win again here. Strong competition here and last week [in the UAE]. I’m starting to show I can compete with the best.
“I’m very proud of that and very proud of the job the team’s doing for me.”
Results from Stage 3, Paris-Nice on Tuesday
Stage 3 Cepoy to Moulins, 200 km.
- 1. Sam Bennett (IRL) BORA - hansgrohe 5:16:25
- 2. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto - Soudal "
- 3. Fabio Jakobsen (NED) Deceuninck - Quick-Step "
- 4. Daniel McLay (GBR) EF Education First "
- 5. Bryan Coquard (FRA) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels "
- 6. Niccolò Bonifazio (ITA) Direct Energie "
- 7. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) UAE Team Emirates "
- 8. Arnaud Démare (FRA) Groupama - FDJ "
- 9. Dylan Groenewegen (NED) Team Jumbo - Visma "
- 10. Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek - Segafredo "
- 11. Eduard Michael Grosu (ROU) Delko - Marseille - "
- 1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 11:47:44
- 2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:06
- 3 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:11
- 4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:16
- 5 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:00:17
- 6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:20
- 7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21
- 8 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:23
- 9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
- 10 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
- 1 Sam Bennett IRL (BORA - hansgrohe)
- 2 Caleb Ewan AUS (Lotto - Soudal)
- 3 Fabio Jakobsen NED (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
- Mar 13-Stage 4 Vichy to Pélussin, 212 km, Road race.
- Mar 14-Stage 5 Barbentane to Barbentane, 25.5 km, Individual time trial.
- Mar 15-Stage 6 Peynier to Brignoles, 176.5 km, Road race.
- Mar 16-Stage 7 Nice to Col de Turini, 181.5 km, Road race.
- Mar 17-Stage 8 Nice to Nice, 110 km, Road race.