Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) knows his opportunities are limited in a climb-heavy Giro d’Italia, so he has to win when he can.
The Irishman collected his second stage victory in the 2018 edition when stage 12 reached the rain-soaked Imola auto circuit.
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Bennett rode in the wake of his team Bora-Hansgrohe over the Tre Monti climb used in the 1968 World Championships and darted free when the thinned group caught the final two attackers on the circuit.
“I couldn’t let another stage get away from me,” Bennett said after adding to his first from Praia a Mare.
“The guys worked so well all day and on the last descent they tried so hard to pull them back. I saw the guys in front, my first target, then when I got to them [I went]. The finish line looked far away, I didn’t think I was going to make it, then when I looked back, I saw I had a good distance that I just kept going.”
Bennett failed to win, but collected four podiums in 2017. In 2018, he was worried he was on the same path after making the podium but losing to Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) on the first two occasions when the race was in Israel.
Back in Italy, Bennett scored his first Grand Tour victory in Praia a Mare under the warm Southern Italian rays. Today, under clouds and rain, he took his second.
“It’s hard to say. Maybe I wouldn’t be so firm in my decision-making, maybe I would have hesitated. It would have a different outcome in the final, I think,” Bennett said of already having one Giro win in his books.
“I suppose in one way I was surer of my decisions. When I decided on something, I just did it. “
Bennett is now within reach of the ciclamino points jersey currently on Elia Viviani’s shoulders. Viviani has 184 points compared to 162 for Bennett.
“At the moment, I’m just looking at stages. I know we closed the gap a nice bit but if I use up energy in the intermediate sprints and I miss another opportunity to win a stage, I’d never forgive myself,” continued Bennett.
“I’m just going for stages. In the last week, if I see that it’s still close and the opportunity is there, then I’ll make a call. But for now we’ve another sprint stage tomorrow and we have to go again.”