Paris-Nice - Sam Bennett: I spent the whole day wondering whether the legs would be there
Mar 08 2021 12:52 am CET

Paris-Nice - Sam Bennett: I spent the whole day wondering whether the legs would be there
Paris-Nice - Sam Bennett: I spent the whole day wondering whether the legs would be there
Photo of Sam Bennett © Wout Beel

Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Sam Bennett has won the final sprint on the first stage of Paris-Nice and took the General Classification lead.

After starting off his 2021 season on the right foot with two victories at the UAE Tour, Bennett kicked off his European season the same way. The rider was the fastest of the sprinters in the last metres of the first stage of the French race, beating Arnaud Demare and Mads Pedersen.

"The guys did a fantastic job again today," said the Irishman. "I was a little blocked in the last 15 km and the nature of the sprint here made it a little chaotic. The narrowing in the last 500 metres made it even more tricky. But the guys delivered me on the wheel. Michael [Morkov, Ed.] was always calm, and he always seems to get me there the whole time. The team were amazing. I was a bit worried coming here and I spent the whole day until the last ten or 15 kilometres wondering whether the legs would be there in the sprint.

"In the last two kilometres I could not get to the front and then eventually we got there. I was put in Pedersen’s wheel and I waited to try to go and I was kind of blocked again at the 500 metres. It was nerve-racking. Then we cut the gap and I followed [Pascal, Ed.] Ackermann when he tried to go and I gave it my all.

"I feel good now. I like to ride in France for sure. I suppose it’s where all the big races are. I’m delighted to be in yellow after Sean winning it so many times. I’m not going to win the overall but to lead the GC for a day or two is pretty special. It would be nice to do it again tomorrow. I will try."







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