Team NetApp – Endura’s Sam Bennett, won the 29th Clásica de Almería today. This win not only marks the team’s first victory of the season, but Bennett’s first win as a professional cyclist. After 178 kilometers, the 23-year-old sprinting talent prevailed in a group sprint ahead of Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Davide Vigano (Caja Rural). Tiago Machado, who came in second in the Tour of Murcia yesterday, completed the team’s excellent performance with ninth place.
"The guys got me perfectly to about 600m to go. I was well position in the last corner. I had to go at 250m because the pace dropped. I came around everyone and took the inside line. At 100m to go my legs started yo buckle and I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But luckily I did!” Sam Bennett said after his first professional win.
"I am so happy to have taken my first win as a pro with Team NetApp – Endura. It was a very nice race today great weather and great roads. Movistar set a nice hard tempo on the climbs and split it in the final with cross winds. It was good for me because it tired everyone else out and got rid of other sprinters. I want to thank all of my team mates who helped me every single chance they got. They really made my job easier and for sure this result came as a result of great team work!",Bennett continued.
“I am very happy with today’s results. An early win is so important for motivating the team. Our guys put in a great team performance yesterday, and today they even managed to surpass that effort. Iker Camano, Tiago Machado, and Erick Rowsell aren’t usually Sam’s lead-out riders. That is why I am all the more pleased that everything worked so perfectly today and that Sam is able to rely on all of his teammates. I hope that we will be able to maintain this level, the atmosphere in the team and this racing style for our upcoming races,”said Alex Sans Vega, Sport Director of Team NetApp – Endura, praising the team’s performance.
After multiple attacks at the start of the race, a breakaway group of seven riders was able to pull away from the field after 15 kilometers. The peloton never lost control of the group and did not allow them to build up more than a 2:30-minute lead.
After the final climb, 50 kilometers before the finish line, the field was forced to come back together. The breakaway riders were caught soon thereafter and the field headed towards the finish line as a pack. The group that would decide the outcome of the race then pulled away 20 kilometers before the finish line. 19 riders, including four from Team NetApp – Endura, took off and quickly built up a one-minute lead.
Thanks to support from his teammates, Sam Bennett was able to conserve valuable energy for the final kilometers and commandingly win the sprint.
1. Sam Bennett 4.21.33
2. Juan Jose Lobato
3. Davide Vigano
4. Francisco Ventoso
5. Stephane Poulhies
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas +0.02
7. Bartlomiej Matysiak
8. Luis Angel Mate
9. Tiago Machado +0.06
10. Davide Rebellin
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