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Sam Bennett slips to second in general standings after gruelling stage 2 Down Under

The 29-year-old was unable to find the finishing kick required for him to retain the leader’s jersey.

Bennett faded at the finish to drop to second in the general standings.
Bennett faded at the finish to drop to second in the general standings.
Image: Imago/PA Images

SAM BENNETT FADED in the sprint at the conclusion of stage 2 at the Tour Down Under, a 13th-place stage finish seeing the Carrick-on-Suir rider slip to second in the general standings.

Bennett entered the second day as the overnight leader and remains level on time with Caleb Ewan at the top, but the Aussie native now leads on account of his superior combined finishing positions across both stages so far.

Lotto-Soudal’s Ewan was a conclusive winner on Wednesday, bombing home ahead of Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) and Nathan Haas (Cofidis).

The finish was marred, however, by a serious crash 1.5km from the line, in which Viviani (Cofidis), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Britain’s Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) were among those taken out. While Viviani and Porte appear fit to continue, Mitchelton-Scott are yet to make a decision on Yates’ involvement in stage 3.

Bennett had stayed in touch for the most difficult slog — the climb towards Stirling — but was unable to find the finishing kick required for him to retain the leader’s jersey.

The 29-year-old sat up from his sprint but still rode for the finishing line, minimalising time lost at the end of a gruelling second stanza.

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