Sam Bennett celebrates seventh season victory on Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3
After two demanding stages, today’s stage was something for the fast wheels in the field. 177 km from Le Puy-en-Velay to Riom with only four category four climbs awaited the peloton.
Right after the flag dropped, two riders launched an attack and were gone for most of the stage. The leading duo enjoyed a gap of more than three minutes, while Giro d’ Italia stage winner Cesare Benedetti pulled at the front of the peloton.
The gap came down to nearly one minute with 46 km remaining, and with BORA – hansgrohe controlling the pace the advantage dropped steadily. 16 km before the finish the peloton closed the gap and everything was set for the expected bunch sprint.
As the race headed into the final kilometres, the sprinter teams started their lead-out. The BORA- hansgrohe train led their sprinter Sam Bennett perfectly, especially Shane Archbold, who did a stellar job to open the sprint with 500 m to go and launch his captain perfectly to the line.
After a masterful sprint Sam celebrated his seventh season win in Riom on stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Bennett said "It was a pretty chaotic final. I was a little worried about how my legs were after the last two days, and then it was so cold during the stage. You're always going to feel bad when it's that cold. But then the guys pulled back and waited a long time. It was kind of hard to stay together because everyone's trying to stay up for the GC and getting in with the sprinters, but at the last moment Shane said 'I'm still good, are you still on my wheel?', and he hit it and took me to 200m to go. I felt really good in the final. I have to thank the full team again, they rode really hard all day and then the guys did a great job in the final putting me in a good position."
"I'm trying to get a win in each stage race I go to. It's sometimes hard to keep that consistency all year. I've been doing pretty good in the stage races and just want to keep it going."
The Criterium overall leader Belgium's Dylan Teuns of Bahrein Merida kept the yellow jersey as all the main contenders such as Chris Froome, Adam Yates and Richie Porte finished at the same time.
Ahead of a challenging individual time-trial which will reset the agenda on Wednesday, Tuesday's stage was the only flat one on the eight-day Criterium, which is seen as a form gauge for July's Tour de France.
VIDEO: 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage Highlights
2019 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Top 10
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:15:25
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 4:15:25
3 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:15:25
4 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 4:15:25
5 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 4:15:25
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 4:15:25
7 Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:15:25
8 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin 4:15:25
9 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott 4:15:25
10 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal 4:15:25
2019 Critérium du Dauphiné GC after Stage 3
1 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 11:52:28
2 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert 0:00:03
3 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:20
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:24
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
8 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Ineos
9 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos
10 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott