Sam Bennett's "phenomenal" sprint victory on Stage 2 of La Vuelta a Espana for Bora-Hansgrohe showed that "no one could touch him", The Breakaway team said on their reaction show.
Bennett stormed to an inspired victory in what was a thrilling sprint in front of a raucous crowd in Utrecht. The in-form Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was tipped by many to edge the final sprint, but it was the Irishman who prevailed in a desperate burst to the line as the 31-year-old took a very memorable win.
Mads Pedersen took second place for Trek-Segafredo, while Merlier had to settle for third place to round out the podium after what was a wild finish to the day's racing. Bennett's remarkable triumph was analysed and praised on The Breakaway.
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"It is phenomenal and I think we are all incredibly pleased for him," Dan Lloyd said.
"You look at the season he has had back at Bora-Hansgrohe and think 'when is he going to start winning big races again?'
"He would have been questioning himself, and he just needed that good run, preferably on the first sprint stage of the race because after that the floodgates may well open.
"That is all you need as a sprinter because you do go through these droughts and a lot of it is mental rather than physical. He must have been in his own head.
"So now that he has done that sprint and the other riders were not strong enough to come past him, he showed he was too strong for the rest of the sprinters in the race.
"Hats off to him, and I can imagine that he might pick up one, two, three more sprint wins over the course of this Vuelta."

'Sam Bennett is back!' - Watch thrilling sprint finish to Stage 2 of La Vuelta

Adam Blythe agreed: "Yes, definitely, it will be a massive boost.
"I think, for me, that is the old Sam Bennett we have seen. That was not just being in the right place, he drag-raced Mads Pedersen to the line. He was just faster than him.
"For me, that is probably one of the best sprints I have seen Sam do in a long time in terms of the power he had.
"He was looking to have that bit of a kick towards the end, but he just outsprinted everyone and pure drag-raced them to the line. No one could touch him."
As for Bennett himself, he was absolutely delighted with the comeback victory that showed he still has what it takes to shine when thrown in a major sprint.

'The boys did a fantastic job' - Bennett delighted with Stage 2 sprint victory

"Danny didn't deliver me; he launched me," Bennett said in his post-race interview.
"He brought me up with speed, then he was kind of ready for me to jump, but I waited a second and I didn't know if I'd let my speed drop too much, and I was nervous I wouldn't get on top of the speed again.
"It's nice. I knew I'd do it [win a stage at a Grand Tour] again, it was just a matter of getting the right legs. What I'm really happy about is continuing my pattern of winning at least one stage in every Grand Tour I've done since 2018."

'He has answered' - Bennett delivering will help Bora-Hansgrohe team spirit

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