# On the up
Ireland's Sam Bennett triumphs on stage 3 of Criterium du Dauphine
The 28-year-old finished with a time of 4:15:25, comfortably ahead of Wout Van Aert and Davide Ballerini.

IRISH SPEED KING Sam Bennett left rival sprinters reeling on Tuesday, timing his mass bunch sprint effort to perfection to win the pancake flat 171km third stage of the Criterium du Dauphine by a clear margin.

The 28-year-old Bora-hangrohe sprinter has been on sparkling form this season picking up seven stage victories including two at Paris-Nice and making his case for inclusion in the Tour de France team.

The Criterium overall leader Belgium’s Dylan Teuns of Bahrein Merida kept the yellow jersey as all the main contenders such as Chris Froome, Adam Yates and Richie Porte finished at the same time.

Ahead of a challenging individual time-trial which will reset the agenda on Wednesday, Tuesday’s race is the only flat one on the eight-day Criterium, which is seen as a form gauge for July’s Tour de France.

The Eritrean rider Natnael Berhane and Frenchman Quentin Pacher led a long breakaway through the rolling green fields around the Put-de-Dome region but were caught up with around five kilometres to go.

That set up a classic mass bunch sprint where Bennett came out ahead of Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Italian Davide Ballerini.

Dan Martin, meanwhile, was 76th in today’s race, leaving him 17th overall, while Bennett is 109th in the general classification.

In the overall standings, Teuns remains first, after he won stage two yesterday, ahead of France’s Guillaume Martin and Kazakhstan’s Alexey Lutsenko in second and third.

© – AFP 2019 

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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