Sam Bennett wins final sprint and takes GC lead in Paris-Nice stage 1
Mar 08 2021 12:04 am CET

Sam Bennett wins final sprint and takes GC lead in Paris-Nice stage 1
Sam Bennett wins final sprint and takes GC lead in Paris-Nice stage 1
Paris-Nice

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) has taken the win of the first stage in Paris-Nice, starting his year of racing in France in the same way as he finished 2020, with a victory.

The first stage of the "Race to the Sun" was 166 kilometres long over a rolling route with a start and finish at Saint-Cyr-L'Ecole. There was an early escape of Fabien Doubey (Team Total Direct Energie) and as the pack got closer to him, four riders -Philippe Gilbert, Stefano Oldani, Antony Perez and Christopher Lawless- attacked and joined him at the front.

There were several attacks in front until only Gilbert, Oldani and Perez remained in front but their adventure also finished at around 30 kilometres to go. A few kilometres later, Lotto Soudal's Kobe Goosens tried his luck and was for a while in front but he was also caught with 17 kilometres to go.

On the next kilometres, several riders tried to launch attacks but they were soon reppealed by those teams interested in a fast finale. Teams like Trek-Segafredo, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Groupama-FDJ and UAE Team Emirates took the lead of the pack to position their fast men ahead of the finale.

There was a crash in the pack on the last kilometre that caused a break in the pack. Bora-hansgrohe was the first team to try to launch Pascal Ackermann for the sprint but soon Sam Bennett showed up from behind and took the win of the first stage of the race.

Bennett had finished 2020 with a victory in the country with the victory of the last stage of the Tour de France and kicks off 2021 in the same fashion. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the finish line in the second and third position, respectively.






COMMENTS