Sam Bennett denied victory on...


Sam Bennett denied victory on stage 2 of Paris-Nice

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Cees Bol helped deny Sam Bennett of back-to-back stage wins on the Paris-Nice. 

The Team DSM man claimed a tricky sprint into Amilly, with Mads Pedersen (Trek Segafredo) second and Michael Matthews (Bike Exchange) in third, taking 4 bonus seconds.

Added to the 5 seconds accrued at the intermediate sprint, the Aussie claimed the leader's yellow jersey from Bennett, whose fifth place finish denied him of bonus points on stage 2.

The County Waterford sprinter drops to third on general classification, 4-seconds down on Matthews' lead.

"I stayed waiting but it was super hard as we had a few crashes," Bennett said after the stage.

"I waited too long, even after the corner.

"I had really good legs but I waited too long. I thought it was longer after the last corner.

"That’s sprinting. Sometimes you get boxed in and you can’t do anything. It’s unfortunate for I had very good legs and I would have liked to get another today."

Bennett had been lucky to avoid a crash involving around 15 riders a kilometre from the finish.

Stage winner Bol was delighted with his victory, saying, "I had a bit of a struggle at the start of the season and wasn't good before now. We kept believing and today, with superb help from my teammates we smashed it."

Bol added, "It's a good boost to the confidence, especially after a rough start.

"Yesterday we didn't do well now today we showed we can do it as a team. It gives confidence for the sprint stages and the other days where we have a chance with the other guys."

Tuesday's third stage is a 14.4km individual time trial around Gien, on the banks of the River Loire.

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