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Bennett finishes among the favourites in Pais Vasco’s gravel stage

Bennett finishes among the favourites in Pais Vasco’s gravel stage

George Bennett has finished the second stage of the Itzulia Basque Country among the favourites. In the stage with the necessary gravel sections, the leader of Team Jumbo-Visma crossed the finish line in the first part of the peloton. The stage, won by Julian Alaphilippe, ended in a sprint. Bennett became 21st. In the overall ranking Bennett moved up to 25th.

The relatively short stage was a very fast one. The early breakaway had already been caught before the first gravel section. At that point Astana took control and pulled very hard to split the peloton. Bennett was well-positioned behind the Astana’s and for a long time he was assisted by Tony Martin, Jonas Vingegaard and Bert-Jan Lindeman.

“It was a crazy final”, Bennett said. “I was lucky that I could hide behind Tony’s back during the first part of the gravel section. The sprint was dangerous. A lot of us nearly crashed in the sprint and the turmoil cost me a few seconds. Hopefully it won’t prove crucial in the end.”

“The stage was as we expected beforehand: hectic and nervous”, Frans Maassen said. “The goal was to protect George and to keep him in the front as good as possible. And then to finish the stage amongst the favourites. We succeeded in that.”

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