Bennett sprints to victory on stage 4 of the UAE Tour: Daily News

Sam Bennett wins stage 4 of the UAE Tour.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos


Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Wednesday saw Sam Bennett power to his first win of the year at the UAE Tour, while in other WorldTour racing news, the Giro d’Italia route has been unveiled and organizers have announced the teams selected to race this year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Sam Bennett wins stage 4 of the UAE Tour

Sam Bennett sprinted to his first victory of 2021 on Wednesday’s fourth stage of the UAE Tour.

The 204 km stage started and finished on Al Marjan Island, and with no categorized climbs on the menu it was a day that had the sprinters’ teams eyeing a potential bunch kick from the outset. The early break was caught inside the last 30 kilometers to set up the fast finish.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Bora-Hansgrohe, Qhubelka-Assos, and DSM positioned themselves at or near the front in the closing kilometers, with Bora-Hansgrohe leading into the winding final few hundred meters. Pascal Ackermann led the way with a hundred meters to go but several sprinters surged past in the closing meters with Bennett powering to the front and sailing over the line for the win. David Dekker nabbed second with Caleb Ewan in for third.

Tadej Pogacar retained his overall lead with three stages to go.

Giro d’Italia route unveiled

Organizers have unveiled the route of the 2021 Giro d’Italia, with the race set to feature some very challenging climbs along with a pair of time trials and a bit of gravel.

Individual time trials will bookend the race but with only 38.4 km of time trialing in total, it looks like a good race for the climbers, who will have their work cut out for them. The other major challenges will include a challenging stage 11 with 35 km of gravel roads on tap, a finish atop the Monte Zoncolan on stage 14, a grueling day in the Dolomites on stage 16, and stage 20, which features two climbs to over 2,000 meters before a summit finish.

Paris-Roubaix announces team selection

Paris-Roubaix organizers announced the teams selected for the women’s and men’s races this year on Wednesday, and among the key highlights from the announcement was the invitation of Ciclismo Mundial, the team of cyclocross stars like Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Sanne Cant, to make the start.

The women’s race will see all nine WorldTour teams joined by Ciclismo Mundial as well as A.R. Monex, Ceratizit-WNT, Lotto Soudal, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Tibco-SVB, Valcar-Travel & Service, Arkéa, Cogeas Mettler Look, Doltcini-Van Eyck, Drops-Le Col, Hitec Products, Jumbo-Visma, NXTG, and Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime.

On the men’s side, B&B Hotels-KTM, Bingoal WB, Delko, and Total Direct Energie have received wildcard bids to join the 19 WorldTour squads, Alpecin-Fenix, and Arkéa-Samsic in attendance.

George Bennett: Cycling New Zealand rejected proposed national champ’s jersey design

George Bennett, who won his first New Zealand national road title earlier this month, revealed recently on The Social Distance Podcast that Cycling New Zealand had rejected a kit design that he had worked on with his wife Caitlin Fielder and the Jumbo-Visma team.

“It was a cool jersey, it was black with a silver fern, and they [Cycling New Zealand] said, ‘We’re too worried that it’s going to get confused with the national jersey,'” Bennett said on the podcast. Instead of the proposed design, Bennett will wear a mostly white jersey with a black fern.

Cyclingnews reports that Cycling New Zealand addressed the topic in a statement.

“We have National Champions across all of our disciplines and events who wear the same shirt with the same registered design,” Cycling New Zealand CEO Jacques Landry said, according to Cyclingnews. “It is simply not possible nor is it the correct process to make such a fundamental change to the jersey design two months into the year on the request of one national champion.”

Coming up …

Thursday sees the UAE Tour continue with a big day for GC contenders like the aforementioned Pogacar and last year’s winner Adam Yates, who currently sits second overall. The peloton will set out from the Fujairah Marine Club and travel 170 kilometers to Jebel Jais, the highest climb in the United Arab Emirates.

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