Irishman wins 2nd Vuelta stage, Ackermann fifth
Sam Bennett (Bora – hansgrohe) won the second stage of the Tour of Spain. | Photo: Cor Vos
08/20/2022 | (rsn) – Sam Bennett (Bora – hansgrohe) won stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana in the Sprint Royale. In Utrecht, the Irishman was faster than Mads Pedersen (Trek – Segafredo) and Tim Merlier (Alpecin – Deceuninck) after 175 km. Fourth on the day Mike Teunissen (Jumbo – Visma) took over the overall lead from his teammate Robert Gesink. Pascal Ackermann (Team UAE Emirates) ran in 5th place.
Before the start of the stage, Bennett remained uncertain in the Eurosport interview. He got a good opportunity and good support from Bora and just couldn’t take advantage of it so far, according to the 31-year-old, who criticized himself as “the weakest link in the chain”. However, there is little to see of this in Utrecht. As Pedersen began to run, Bennett quickly appeared next to him and eventually left the former world champion.
“Danny took me forward at a high pace then he was ready for my jump but I waited a second and I didn’t know if I would be too late. I’m a little afraid that I won’t be able to go back fast,” commented the winner of the day and the new jersey holder in his race.
Bennett celebrates his fourth Vuelta stage win
The fear was unfounded, after two years Bennett was able to win the stage in the Grand Tour again. “It’s beautiful. I know I’ll do it again, it’s just a question of my legs,” said the sprinter about his success on the fourth day of the Tour of Spain.
Second was Pedersen, who won the middle race and was tied for second behind Bennett in the standings. Type of score. “It is difficult and technical. Alex did well, I just followed the rear wheel,” Dane praised his rider Alex Kirsch, who completely reduced the world champion from Harrogate. “It was a perfect job by the team, so it looks good for the other stages of the run. Tomorrow is the next chance, hopefully we can improve second place to first place,” Pedersen looked ahead.
Merlier, on the other hand, did not have a good final match. “I felt good but had to go around the outside with 500 meters to go and was in the wind because of that. I felt a few elbows and lost too much in the crowd,” explained the Belgian champion. . “After that I didn’t have enough pace anymore. I’m disappointed. I want more. I will try again tomorrow,” said the Alpecin driver.
Gesink passes red to Teunissen
In addition to Ackermann, John Degenkolb (DSM) also made it into the top ten of the day. The 10-time Vuelta stage winner finished ninth for his 10th race result of the year.
The new overall leader is Teunissen, who, like Gesink, was awarded the red shirt by the team. “It was not planned at first. We were here mainly for Primoz, but this morning the man surprised me and said that if everything goes according to plan and Primoz is safe, I should try to be the first to finish,” the fourth place in 2019 said after his stage win in the Tour de France, he rode in the yellow jersey for two days, in an interview at the finish.
Mountain shirt provided by Julius van den Berg (EF Education – EasyPost). The Dutchman was the first to break into the one-day mountain climb in Amerongen. The team ranking continues to lead Jumbo – Visma.
Here’s how the contest goes:
Shortly after starting in the birthplace of Marianne Vos, van den Berg attacked. The Dutchman was joined later by his compatriot Jetse Bol (Burgos – BH), Spaniards Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel – Euskadi) and Pau Miquel (Kern – Pharma) and Frenchman Thibault Guernalec (Arkéa – Samsic).
The field, mainly led by Alpecin – Deceuninck, was five minutes ahead of the escapees, but had already reduced the gap to ten seconds with 100 kilometers. But then the reins were loosened again, so the leading group reached the only mountain classification of the day in Amerongse (Cat. 4) about one minute ahead of the peloton. Here van den Berg got two points ahead of Guernalec and thus took the first mountain jersey of this Vuelta.
With a distance of 59 kilometers, the pursuers caught up with the fugitive again. 15 kilometers later, the Spaniard Luis Angel Maté (Euskaltel – Euskadi) drove away from the now lazy field. But his solo ride ended 20 kilometers from the finish line. On the track at the Soesterberg air base, Mads Pedersen (Trek – Segafredo) won the intermediate race ahead of Ryan Mullen (Bora – hansgrohe) and Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers).
In the final race in Utrecht, the sprinter teams held the field together before the Trek – Segafredo finally started the sprint for Pedersen, who immediately took the lead. But Bennett, launched by van Poppel, came level with the former world champion and in the sprint duel that followed, Bora’s captain had more energy. Behind Pedersen, Merlier crossed the finish line in third, then had a crash involving several riders.
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