Sam Bennett retains lead in Vuelta a San Juan after third place finish

American rider Quinn Simmons wins stage three in Argentina

Sam Bennett finished third on stage three of the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina late on Tuesday evening, retaining the race leader’s jersey but coming up just short of a stage win.

American rider Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) launched a solo move inside the final kilometre and held off a frantic pursuit by Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina).

Bennett was well positioned just before the attack but had to jam on his brakes when a rider stalled in front of him, losing momentum. Simmons surged almost immediately afterwards, with Richeze almost bridging before the line before running out of steam.

Bennett launched his sprint but almost crashed when Fernando Gaviria (Movistar Team) squeezed him against the barriers. That slowed him and meant he had to be happy with third place plus retention of the race lead.


He was previously victorious on Sunday’s opening leg and fourth on Monday’s second stage. He ended the stage six seconds clear of Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal – Quick Step).

Tuesday evening’s stage started and finished at the Autodrómo de Villicum. It was 170.9 kilometres in length, followed a mainly flat profile, and featured a long-range breakaway group which was finally hauled back inside the final hour of racing. The bunch remained together towards the finish, with the pace ramping up considerably when Simone Bevilacqua (Eolo-Kometa) attacked before the short finishing circuit.

The Italian stayed clear until just over two kilometres to go, but the sprinters’ teams were committed to a big bunch finish. However Simmons foiled those plans to nab the stage.

Racing continues on Wednesday evening with a hillier 196.5 kilometre race from the Autodrómo de Villicum to Barreal. It features a first category climb early on but is less difficult in the second half of the stage, making it possible the peloton could be largely intact by the finish.

Thursday is a rest day, with three more stages bringing the race to a close on Sunday. The final two of those look perfectly suited to bunch sprints, handing Bennett further opportunity. He had set a pre-race target of two stage wins.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

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