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“I felt absolutely terrible all day and actually I considered during the stage not to sprint. But the guys convinced my to try and they did an absolutely fantastic lead out." 

Photo: TNE/Stiehl






14.08.2015 @ 19:12 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Bora-Argon 18 sprinter Sam Bennett won the bunch sprint at the second stage of the Arctic Race of Norway. After yesterday's third place, the 24-year-old Irishman celebrated his fourth win of the season today. Bennett won ahead of Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).


With his victory, Bennett moved into second place in the overall standings and also the white jersey of the best young rider. Bora-Argon 18 laid the foundation for the stage win in the final kilometers of the race, when the team was still represented with five riders and was able to prepare perfectly the sprint.


 "Again, we have completely focused on Sam and the guys supported him extremely well in the finale. The finish line was very long and therefore it was important to save energy until the very end. Sam gambled a bit and actually I thought he was too far behind. But then with 100 meters the door opened! He rode an easy sprint and won confidently. Sam was simply the fastest on the final meters. Our goal was to win a stage and that’s what we’ve achieved now", said Andre Schulze, Sport Director of Bora-Argon 18 after the stage.


“The guys did an absolutely amazing job today," Bennett said. "In the end it was a little bit of a downhill. I can’t believe I lost my team-mate’s wheel. I was in such a bad position, I want to apologize to the guys for that because it’s my job to hold the wheel.


"I was looking coming in the final I just kept sprinting and going through gaps. In the end the door just opened at the right time and I was just able to take the win.


"It feels good to beat Alexander Kristoff on his home soil but regardless it feels good to win and I’m delighted. But it wasn’t a straight sprint against each other. He got boxed in. It was a really quick and dusty finale in the military camp, everyone came down the hill with a lot of speed. There were a lot of touching wheels and it was a bit scary.


"It’s really important for me to win here after the Tour de France. As a sprinter, if you want to be a good sprinter, you need to deliver results when you’re feeling good all through the season.


"I had terrible legs in the race today but with the support of the team, I was still able to get a result and that’s very important. If I have fantastic legs tomorrow I’ll try to hold hard but the way I was climbing today I don’t think I’ll be able to.


“I felt absolutely terrible all day and actually I considered during the stage not to sprint. But the guys convinced my to try and they did an absolutely fantastic lead out. When I lost the wheel on a fast downhill part before the sprint I was disappointed and but again I didn’t want to let the guys down after such a good lead out. I kept going and just found enough room to go for it. Big thanks to everyone in the team!”



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