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“I got nice results but the team wants a win and that’s what we have to get,” Sam Bennett said. 

Photo: TNE/Roth






15.02.2016 @ 12:33 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

A victory in a stage race's general classification – which Mark Cavendish enjoyed last week, is a rare but fairly satisfying consolation prize for a sprinter. Sam Bennett wasn't even that lucky, though, with two fourth places taken in the Qatari event being best what he could do against the Manxman, Alexander Kristoff and a whole constellation of Italian fast finishers. The 25-year old Irishman admitted that missing out on a stage victory in Tour of Qatar was disappointing, but was satisfied with a way his Bora-Argon 18 team raced in a heat and cross-winds.


Before it even started, this year's Tour of Qatar was meant to be a battle between Cavendish and Kristoff, from which the latter came out victorious with three stage victories. While Bennett has enough self-awareness to know that he remains a level below the strongest fast finishers of the professional peloton, losing to Italian sprinters in likes of Sasha Modolo or Andrea Guardini had to be somewhat disappointing, especially taking his nearly perfect start to the 2016 season.


“I’m really happy with the performance of myself and the team,” Bennett told StickyBottle. “But I was disappointed I couldn’t reward the efforts of the team with a win. It’s frustrating but I could no better.”


Still, the 25-year old Irish sprinter willingly pointed out to some improvements in his positioning and tactical approach, especially pleased with the way he handled infamous Qatari cross-winds. He also said he felt strongest than ever before and only lack of self confidence prevented him from obtaining better results in sprints.


“In other years I’d have made the first group but blown up and then went to the second group and then the third and ended up in the last group because I never had the strength.”


“This year I’ve never missed the first split, I don’t know was it luck or what but I also had massive, massive support from my team which made a big difference.”


Bennett obviously realizes that taking top five places is not what sprinters are brought into a team for, and in the age of 25 it's about time to make a further step forward.


“I got nice results but the team wants a win and that’s what we have to get,” he said.


“It’s nice to be up overall but I wanted a stage win.

The young Irishman will get another chance to take a victory very soon, as he is expected to ride the Tour of Oman starting this Tuesday (16.02).




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