Sam Bennett was 'pretty nervous' before taking 50th pro win at UAE Tour

The Irishman took victory with his first WorldTour mass sprint of the season

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Bennett took stage four of the 2021 UAE Tour by around a bike length over second place David Dekker in the Irishman's first hit out in a bunch sprint this season.

Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) also took his 50th career win with the stage victory on the Al Marjan island after the longest stage of the race at over 200km of pan flat stage.

>>> Sam Bennett takes victory in chaotic finale on stage four of the UAE Tour 2021

After the stage Bennett said: "I was a little frustrated missing the sprint on the first stage and I knew there were only three more opportunities, so I was really motivated today.

"At the same time, I was pretty nervous, because it was the first bunch sprint of the season for myself and you never know what’s your condition coming out of the winter."

As usual, Michael Mørkøv guided the Tour de France 2020 green jersey winner to about 200 metres to go before the Irishman chose to dive down the left hand side, which turned out to be the fastest line.

"Having the team do such a great job you just want to bring the victory. I knew all I had to do was follow the guys, who made my job easier, and with my legs good in the end I was able to do the sprint I wanted.

"It was a messy finale, but I made it thanks to this amazing Wolfpack, who controlled the stage and then delivered me in the perfect position. I am proud to score my 50th victory here. It was a long, hot stage, but it now feels great to get the first bunch sprint of the year out of the way. It’s a perfect way to start the season."

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Bennett has taken some huge victories during his career including eight Grand Tour stage wins and nine Tour of Turkey stage wins as well as 33 further wins.

In a post-stage interview, Bennett said: "It feels good to win my first sprint of the season. I had to wait for a few days to get this opportunity. I was really nervous before the sprint because it was the first fast bunch finish of the year for me. I followed my guys who did a fantastic job.

"My lead out went to the right, which was the shortest way to the line, but I chose the long way to the left, as I felt I had enough speed. I think today is my 50th professional win. It's very nice to take that one."

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.