Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

March 8, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Bennett wins Paris-Nice, stage 3; An interview with Paul Kimmage: Team Sky’s charade has been exposed; “I was officially burnt out”: Time to stop and look at the bigger picture; Noticeable split among Team Sky riders in voicing support of Brailsford; Gianni Savio continues fight for Giro invite; Janse van Rensburg abandons Paris-Nice after crash; Colorado Classic to be televised, streamed; Rupert Guinness to race across Australia; Second attempt at Year Record for rider two years after first try ended in crash; Research finds air pollution worse for drivers than cyclists on London roadway; 2017 Paris-Nice, stage 3 highlights; No Ordinary Night Film Contest 2016/17 – The Winners.

Bennett wins Paris-Nice, stage 3

by Mark Zalewski

Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) did not have the lead-out team that the big name sprinters enjoyed at the finish of third stage of Paris-Nice, but the Irishman did not need it, as he chose the right wheels to follow at the right moments to take the field sprint. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors) were left with second and third places, respectively.

“I had a lot of confidence coming into this race with good form recently,” Bennett said. “I had it at Tour Down Under too. With a little luck today I thought something was possible. The guys did a fantastic job for me today putting me into position.” When asked if he had a plan for the final metres, to be in the position he was, Bennett laughed and said, “I was just fighting for position to get near the front and found it difficult to remain there — I didn’t even notice!”

The break of the day was launched by Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) with Ben King (Dimension Data) and Romain Combaurd (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) joining. A small sprint occurred on the final KOM with LaTour easily taking the points. But this disrupted the break and with the peloton in full chase mode the gap was falling quickly, down to around 30 seconds. King was dropped from the leading trio when LaTour pushed the pace. This bumped the gap back up to around 45 seconds with 20km to go.

Quick Step Floors put in a lot of initial work. Six Direct Energie riders pulled on the front with 15km still to go, burning a lot of lead-out matches. At 10km to go the leading pair still enjoyed a lead of more than 30 seconds. A roundabout at 3.8km to go caused a fracas as the exit was far more to the right than some anticipated, and a few riders going left had too much speed to handle it. While a some went wide and off course to avoid crashing, one of the stage favourites Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) did crash, taking the Dutch champ out of the finale.

The break still had 14 seconds at two kilometres to go, but with the tough turns now behind them the peloton had their prey in sight. Combaurd tried to encourage LaTour to keep going but it was not to be and the catch was made right at the flamme rouge. Quick Step Floors led the way, followed by Katusha-Alepcin — but as the sprint wound up and riders broke free, a freelancing Sam Bennet was floating just behind. As if the seas parted the Irishman found himself with an open run to the line.

Stage 3: Chablis > Chalon-sur-Saône - Stage Result

Tuesday 7th March 2017

1. ie
Bora - Hansgrohe
2. no
KRISTOFF Alexander
Team Katusha - Alpecin
3. de
Trek - Segafredo