Sam Bennett wins stage 2 of La Vuelta 2022

Sam Bennett on the podium after victory in stage 2 on Saturday at La Vuelta 2022. Credit: Luis Angel Gomez Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency/Bora-Hansgrohe.

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Ireland’s Sam Bennett won today’s first sprint stage of La Vuelta 2022, his fourth career stage win at the Spanish Grand Tour.

In a tight finish, the Bora-Hansgrohe rider edged out Mads Pedersen of Trek-Segafredo and Tim Merlier from Aplecin-Deceuninck on the days 175.1 kilometer flat stage from ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht in the Netherlands.

With a good leadout from his Bora-Hansgrohe team, the Irish rider was well placed near the end of the day’s action.

Danny van Poppel launched Bennett with the Carrick-on-Suir cyclist able to pull alongside Pedersen before crossing the line first to win Saturday’s stage.

Merlier finished third with Jumbo-Visma’s Mike Teunissen coming home fourth and taking the race leader’s red jersey as a result.

“It feels really good to win here,” an ecstatic Bennett admitted. “I know I can win this race again, but it’s only a matter of time. Many thanks to my teammates, who really did a strong job for me today, especially Danny (van Poppel) who rode a very good lead-out. I’m very proud that I was able to reward all their hard work with the win.”

Today’s stage win was Bennett’s second victory of the year and his first in a Grand Tour since 2020.

Bora-Hansgrohe Sports Director Bernie Eisel felt Bennett’s stage 2 victory was a perfect start to La Vuelta for his team, saying:

It was very important for Sam and for the whole team to have a good start in the Vuelta, and of course it really gives us a boost for the next few days. So, all in all, perfect teamwork was crowned with an incredibly strong sprint win today.”

Bennett now leads the points classification with 67 points and will wear the green jersey on Sunday.

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