Sam Bennett pipped on the line as Nicolas Roche holds leader’s red jersey at Vuelta a Espana

Sam Bennett pipped on the line as Nicolas Roche holds leader’s red jersey at Vuelta a Espana
Nicolas Roche retained the leader’s red jersey

Sam Bennett missed out on a second consecutive Vuelta a Espana stage win by the slightest of margins as he was pipped on the line by Fabio Jakobsen in El Puig.

Ireland's Bennett, who took his first career Vuelta win 24 hours earlier, did well to even contest the sprint after being caught out of position in the finale, but – after powering his way back in – he was edged out by the Dutchman in a photo finish.

Bennett’s compatriot Nicolas Roche retained the leader’s red jersey for a third day with no changes at the top of the general classification.

Though it appeared relatively benign on paper, there were fears the 175.5km stage four from Cullera would be disrupted by thunderstorms.

But though there was heavy rain on the only climb of the day, the Puerto del Oronet, it was thankfully dry both on the descent and the technical run in to town.

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Bennett was well placed as the peloton reeled in a late attack from Jakobsen’s Deceuninck-QuickStep team-mate Remi Cavagna in the finale, but then went the long way around a roundabout with 1.2km to go to fall back in the group.

Detached from his team-mates, Bennett was able to force his way through only to miss out by millimetres on the line as Jakobsen, 22, claimed his first career Grand Tour win.

Team Sunweb’s Roche continues to lead overall by two seconds from Nairo Quintana of Movistar.

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