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Sam Bennett bounces back with a third-place finish

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Riders make their way around Great Ormes Head to the finish line during stage two of the Tour of Britain in Llandudno, Wales

Riders make their way around Great Ormes Head to the finish line during stage two of the Tour of Britain in Llandudno, Wales

Riders make their way around Great Ormes Head to the finish line during stage two of the Tour of Britain in Llandudno, Wales

After a disappointing 12th place opening stage finish on Sunday, Ireland's Sam Bennett took his first podium placing on this year's Tour of Britain when he finished third on stage two in Llandudno yesterday

With Tour de France stage winners Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel both dropped on the second category climb of Great Orme in the last 6km of the stage, Bennett was one of the few sprinters to get over the top with the leaders.

Bennett's NetApp Endura team did their best to contain the numerous attacks on the fast descent to the finish but British time trial champion Alex Dowsett of Movistar and former French champion Sylvain Chavanel hovered a few seconds in front of the heaving peloton in the last kilometres.

With team-mate Paul Voss fighting hard to close the gap, Bennett was fourth man under the kilometre to go kite and immediately jumped on the wheel of defending champion Bradley Wiggins when the Sky leader came past as the line approached.

"I jumped on Wiggo's wheel and he caught them with about 400m to go but it would have been suicide to start sprinting then," said Bennett.

When the sprint did start, Bennett found himself baulked in the gallop to the line and finished third behind the Omega Pharma Quickstep's Aussie sprinter Mark Renshaw and Sky's Ben Swift.

Nicolas Roche finished in the same time as Bennett to remain 10 seconds down overall.

Mark McNally infiltrated the early breakaway and picked up enough climbing points to see him retain his lead in the King of the Mountains.

Irish Independent