Sam Bennett penalised after barging Nairo Quintana at Paris-Nice

Video from the stage shows sprinter Bennett forcing the Colombian climber across the road

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Sam Bennett was penalised after stage three of Paris-Nice for shoving 59kg climber Nairo Quintana.

Video from the stage shows the Irish sprinter was fighting for position during a chaotic final kilometre of stage three in central France, as he then shoves Arkéa-Samsic rider Quintana three times.

Bennett was riding on the right hand side of the peloton on the wheel of his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mate Bob Jungels, when he pushed Quintana on his left back towards the bunch.

The Colombian narrowly managed to avoid a crash as riders behind him were forced to take action to avoid an incident.

After the stage, the commissaire’s announced that Bennett had been fined 800 Swiss francs (around £600) and had 40 UCI classification points deducted for the incident.


Bennett’s stage came to a premature end in the final few hundred metres, after Israel Start-Up Nation’s Hugo Hofstetter was forced to dismount at high speed at the front of the bunch, falling into Bennett who was forced into the barrier and went down hard.

The 29-year-old was able to cross the line two minutes after Iván García Cortina (Bahrain-McLaren) rode to victory, and needed four stitches in the fingers of his right hand after suffering a gash.

Bennett avoided any more serious injuries and plans to race on.

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He said: “I lost some skin and needed those stitches, because when I went into the barrier, I hit the metal part but luckily everything else seems okay.

“In the beginning I was lying on the road and there was a bit of a shock, as I had no idea how serious it was, but it’s a good thing nothing is broken.

“I will continue the race and start Wednesday’s individual time trial. I’m quite happy it will be a short stage tomorrow and I hope things will turn around for me at some point.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.