MADRID – Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett claimed a maiden Vuelta a Espana stage victory as he pipped rival Edward Theuns to the line in a sprint finish to win stage three of the race, a 188km flat ride from Ibi to Alicante.
The Irish national champion, who surged ahead of his fellow sprinters on the finishing straight, now has four Grand Tour stage victories, and celebrated a famous double for Ireland after race leader Nicolas Roche retained the red jersey.
He is the sixth Irishman to win a stage at the Vuelta, and the first since Roche in 2015.
“I can’t tell you how relieved I am,” said Bennett, who admitted he was suffering in the intense August heat. “I can’t tell you how bad my legs were in the stage.
“Thanks to the team today I could relax and follow them, trust them to get me in the right place at the right time.