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Vuelta a Espana 2019: Peloton pileup leaves Bennett to sprint for easy win on Stage 14

Massive crash right under the 1km banner leaves barely 20 riders to contest the sprint in Oviedo

Martin James
7 Sep 2019

Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took his second stage win of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana as a huge crash near the front of the peloton decimated the field at the 1km mark.

Barely 20 riders were left in contact as a mass pileup left those behind with nowhere to go, including overall leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).

With the incident happening inside the final 3km, there will be no time penalties affecting the GC positions. It remains to be seen, however, whether the full field will start tomorrow after taking a tumble.

Those that had remained upright then hit the long drag up to the line. Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) went long, and distanced most of the small group quickly before Max Richeze (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and then Bennett reacted.

But Bennett was too fast once he kicked into top gear and the Irishman was able to sit up and savour the victory from well before the line. 

How the day unfolded

The opening instalment of the Vuelta’s second weekend of action looked to be a straightforward notion in principle – a surprisingly gentle-looking stage given the Vuelta’s propensity for dishing up harder and harder stages as the race goes on.

Yet this 188km effort from San Vicente de la Barquer to Oviedo genuinely was a fully flat stage – a single third category climb 20km from the end the only climbing challenge of the day.

Which is probably just as well for anyone with designs on taking the race leader’s red jersey from Roglic’s shoulders.

If anything, any big climbs right now look more an opportunity for the Slovenian to build his lead rather than a chance for others to take it off him.

The day was therefore perfectly primed for a break to get away, enjoy a day spent riding with their noses in the wind, before just failing to stay clear inside in the final 10km.

And for once that's what we got, with everyone playing their roles to perfection right up until that final kilometre banner. 

Nearly right from the flag a group scurried away down the road, building a lead of two minutes fairly quickly but rarely holding more than that. Clearly the sprinters had decided this was a day for them.

The five out front continued to play their part, however, and were caught – as per the script – with less than 10km to go.