Sam Bennett took the first stage of the Critérium International in a sprint finish. After 90,5 kilometres around Porto-Vecchio, the BORA – ARGON 18 sprinter was the fastest man on the line, after a 3 men breakaway has just been caught with 500m to go.
In the second stage of today, a 7-k time trial, Sam Bennett again was the fastest BORA – ARGON 18 rider in 15th place 0:22 behind the winner. This puts him in 9th place in the overall classification after day one in Corsica.
“We had a really good meeting yesterday and everybody knew exactly what to do. The guys were committed 100% and everyone did a tremendous job! There was a crash with 15k to go and I was at the back of the peloton afterwards, but the team stayed together and brought me back up without panic. In the last little decent we made our move and hit the front, after the last corner I still had 3 guys to lead-out. I launched my sprint pretty early with 250m to go slightly uphill, but I felt I had to make my move because the whole team prepared everything so well. I felt that I opened a little gap and I could hold it to the line. It is brilliant to now have the first win under the belt. This is a reward for everyone in the team.” – Sam Bennett
The day after, for the last stage, Dominik Nerz, Emanuel Buchmann and Paul Voss all showed a strong performance. Dominik Nerz crossed the line in superb 7th position, for sure his best performance in the BORA – ARGON 18 colours. Also in the GC Dominik finished the Critérium International in a great 7th place. With also Emanuel Buchmann in 13th and Paul Voss in 14th position, and the victory in stage 1, the team had its best weekend this season so far.
“This was a stage for real men! From the beginning the pace was really high and Bartosz, Gregor and Sam did a great job to keep us in position. On the first climb I tried to get in the group, but missed it, what maybe turned out to be not bad in the end for me. But I also lost some energy there. In the final Patrick supported Emu, Paul and me very well. When we hit the last climb I could not believe that the pace was that high from the beginning after the whole day was already that fast, but then a lot of guys lost contact and that gave me confidence. In the end I could not follow the last attacks and decided to find my own rhythm. A 7th place is a very good result and it is also a real boost in confidence for the next weeks after all the problems I had last season. A big “thank you” to the whole team and also the staff that is always there to help. Especially Christian Pömer did a great job in preparing every stage here really well for us.” – Dominik Nerz