Ireland’s Sam Bennett won the fourth stage of the Tour of the UAE today.
The Carrick-on-Suir flyer beat David Dekker of Holland and Aussie Caleb Ewan in a flying finish after a 204km stage around Al-Marjan island.
It was 30-year-old Bennett’s first win of the new season and will set him up nicely for the big target of his first half of the season, the Milan-San Remo one-day classic on March 20th.
Before then Bennett will look for at least one more win out in the deserts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Tomorrow’s stage of the race is a mountain-top finish, but both Friday and Saturday’s stages are flat and should provide a big chance for Bennett to shine.
Last year’s Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia held onto the overall lead of the race after today’s bunch sprint.
“It feels good to win my first sprint victory of the season,” said Bennett. “I had to wait for a few days out here to get this opportunity.
“II was really nervous before the sprint because it was the first fast bunch finish of the year for me. I followed my team-mates who did a fantastic job. My lead out went to the right, which was the shortest way to the line, but I chose the long way to the left, as I felt I had enough speed. I think this is my 50th professional win. It's very nice to take that one."