Vuelta a España 2022: Sam Bennett burns to succeed in the sprint during the second stage | Vuelta of Spain
Dutch fans were in for a surprise when Mike Teunissen snatched the red jersey from the overall leader of the Vuelta a España, and Irishman Sam Bennett won the second stage sprint on Saturday.
Teunissen came fourth in the final sprint to become the second Dutch leader in the general classification after his Jumbo-Visma teammate Robert Gesink in the lead after the first stage. Defending champion Primoz Roglic remained near the top of the standings.
“Actually, that wasn’t the plan. I have been saying for many days already that we are mainly here to take care of Primoz,” said Teunissen. “This morning the guys surprised me a bit by saying that if everything goes according to plan and Primoz makes it safely to the last three kilometers, we could see if I can be the first to cross the line. In my country of origin, with a lot of people cheering, it’s really amazing for me and for everyone.
Bennett beat Mads Pedersen and Tim Merlier to the line for his first Grand Tour stage win since the 2020 Vuelta. “I knew I would do it again, it was just a matter of having the right legs,” Bennett said . “I’m quite happy with my level but I think the experience and the guys made the difference today. There could be another sprint tomorrow. We will return with the same hunger.
Roglic, who is bidding for an unprecedented fourth Vuelta in a row, has remained in the main pack and is fourth in the standings, behind Sam Oomen, Edoardo Affini and Teunissen, all with the same time. Roglic has shown no signs of being bothered by the injuries that have plagued his Vuelta preparations. The Slovenian is trying to join Spaniard Roberto Heras (2000, 2003-05) as the only rider to win four Vuelta titles.
The first three stages take place in the Netherlands after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted Vuelta’s plans to race there for the past two years. The third stage will be a completely flat course which will also end with a sprint to the line.