Sam Bennett retains leader’s jersey after second stage of Vuelta a San Juan

Irish cyclist fails to match first stage victory but does enough to stay atop the standings

Sam Bennett retained the leader’s jersey on stage two of the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, but missed out on what he hoped would be his second stage win in the race.

Just as happened when he won stage one, Bennett had a strong leadout from teammate Danny Van Poppel and hit the front with approximately 200 metres to go. However three riders came at speed from his left, with Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal-Quickstep), Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) and Jon Aberasturi (Trek-Segafredo) getting past and filling the podium positions on the stage.

Bennett said afterwards that he may have made an error in the finale.

”I’m a bit disappointed to be honest, especially because the boys worked really hard for me again,” Bennett said. “It was a high speed bunch sprint. I was riding 55x11 and was still looking for another gear. I probably mistimed my sprint slightly but I felt right in the moment. It’s easy to analyse afterwards, but hard to do the exact right thing in the heat of the action.”


Although he finished out of the time bonuses, he retained the race leader’s jersey. He is now level on time with Jakobsen and four seconds clear of Gaviria and stage one runner-up Michael Morkov (Soudal – Quick Step).

This evening’s stage starts and finishes at the Autodrómo de Villicum. It is 170.9 kilometres in length and the mainly flat stage may well end in a bunch sprint, providing Bennett with another opportunity. His Bora-hansgrohe teammates will do what they can to set him up for that, including fellow Irishman Ryan Mullen. He has ridden well in Bennett’s service in the first two stages.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling