Bennett beats Démare to the sprint and the French is new leader

The Irishman beat the sprint in the third stage of the Tour of Wallonia ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Démare who snatches the lead from Caleb Ewan.


The Irishman Sam Bennett (Deceuninck Quick Step) has been the winner of the sprint of the third stage of the Tour of Wallonia between Montzen and Visé with a route of 192 kilometers, ahead of the French Arnaud Démare (Groupama FDJ), new leader of the race.

Bennett, 29, Irish champion, achieved his victory after two attempts in which he was overcome by Caleb Ewan and Démare. At the third time he raised his arms to the French cyclist, with a time of 4:42:31. Third came the German John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal). The Australian Ewan lost contact in the last ascents and could not compete in the sprint, so he said goodbye to the yellow jersey, which now belongs to Démare.

The day had movement from the beginning. The Spanish Carlos Canal (Burgos BH), 19-year-old Spanish CX and MTB champion, got into the break of 5 that marked the stage, but it was not a day for gifts and the peloton stabilized the escape without going beyond the 5 minute rental. The adventure woke up from the dream at 50 of the finish line, with everything to be solved, since the two passes through the Cota de Cheratte, a steep 1 kilometer at an 8.5 percent slope, was marked as a checkpoint.

The attacks were unsuccessful, but it came to concern that 4 prominent names starred, the Ecuadorian Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos), the Belgian Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), the Czech Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck Quick Step) and the winner of the Tour of Wallonia 2019, another Belgian, Loïc Vliegen.

With 7 kilometers to the finish, they climbed the last difficulty together with a handful of seconds ahead, but Démare's men burned the ships to promote the sprint. The mighty quartet was sucked into the final kilometer and the fury of the sprinters was unleashed. There was not much intrigue. Bennett was superior on the straight to Visé and claimed the fourth win of the season. He won a stage of the Tour Down Under, the Race Torquay and a day of the Vuelta a Burgos.

Démare will defend the yellow jersey this Wednesday in the fourth and final stage, which offers another undulating route between Blegny and Erezée with a distance of 199.4 kilometers.

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