Sam Bennett repeats Paris-Bourges win

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After taking the second stage of the Giro della Toscana about a week ago, Sam Bennett had to skip some races due to a bronchitis. A fall back in his build up to the World Championships in Doha. But today he came back with an impressive win straight away.

The 66th edition of Paris-Bourges was 190k long between Gien and Bourges. The course is hilly but also known for tricky crosswind sections. Still, like Paris-Tours, it is a race for the sprinters.

From the beginning Cofidis made clear that they wanted the race to fininsh in a bunch sprint for their fast man N. Bouhanni. Nevertheless, a five men break – Jauregui (AG2R), Gesbert (Fortunéo), Helven (Topsport), Centrone (Differdange) und Iversen (Giant U23) – was allowed to go clear from the peloton. But the bunch never let them extend their lead to more than 4 minutes.

Also Bora – Argon 18 worked on the front of the peloton to position Sam Bennett well, which did pay off when already with more than 100k to go the peloton split in two. While also the breakaway group split up with 40k to go, the peloton was also further reduced at the same time.

After the remaining two breakaway riders Jauregui (AG2R) and Gesbert (Fortunéo) were caught, everything was setup for a bunch sprint out of about 60 riders. BORA – ARGON 18 was still present in this group also with Zak Dempster and Scott Thwaites, so Sam Bennett had his key lead-out riders still with him. This proved to be the key to success and Sam Bennett repeated his victory from last year after a photo finish against A. Porsev (Katusha).

“It was really a hard race today. I was sick for 6 days and after the start of the race I didn’t feel good. But I knew it would be like that today and I also knew the course from last year, so we were always up front when the crosswind did play a role. Silvio (Herklotz) and Pfingsti (C. Pfingsten) really worked a lot throughout the day for me. In the end I still had Zak (Dempster) and Scott (Thwaites) who did a perfect job as well. Two corners before the finish I was at the wheel of Bouhanni. Coquard was also there and tried to push him a little, both had to break then and I came around them outside. On the home straight a waited really long before I pushed hard. In the end I just got Prosev be a few millimetres. I did not expect that at all today, therefore it is even more satisfying now.”, said Sam Bennett

Paris-Bourges 2016 results:

1 Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18)

4:38:55

2 Alexander Porsev (Katusha)

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3 Rudy Barbier (Roubaix)

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4 Marc Sarreau (FDJ)

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5 Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha)

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6 Christophe Laporte (Cofidis)

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7 Romain Feillu (HP-BTP Auber 93)

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8 Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R)

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9 Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)

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10 Roy Jans (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

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