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The Sam Bennett Discussion Thread

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Re:

11 Jun 2018 20:23

Leinster wrote:You have to say, as good as Kittel was last year, it’s clear that the QS train was a big part of his success. Katusha just haven’t been able to put him in the same positions.

At the same time, it’s a shame Bennett is 99% not riding the Tour. With the legs he seems to have right now, he might be able to get right up there in some of the sprints.


Yeah, but that's never going to happen as long as he is on the same team as Sagan.

I agree with the Kittel part. But he is fast and it would be unwise to discount him before the Tour.
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17 Aug 2018 10:12

So Sagan is riding the Vuelta which obviously means no room for Sam.. Anyone else of the opinion that being on the same team is going to start to seriously hamper his chances now that he seems to be knocking on the door of the top tier guys?
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17 Aug 2018 13:55

Yup. He’s an elite level sprinter, and he showed at the Giro that he can get over some minor lumps. He’s capable of a TdF stage on the right course, he can maybe even win MSR with a team dedicated to getting him over the Poggio, but he won’t get to try while he’s on the same payroll as Sagan, especially now with the reduced teams.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 13:59

Leinster wrote:Yup. He’s an elite level sprinter, and he showed at the Giro that he can get over some minor lumps. He’s capable of a TdF stage on the right course, he can maybe even win MSR with a team dedicated to getting him over the Poggio, but he won’t get to try while he’s on the same payroll as Sagan, especially now with the reduced teams.


Agreed. And they also have Ackermann. It's not going to work at all.

I'm surprised Bennett's not riding the Binckbank Tour.
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17 Aug 2018 14:22

Hopefully he’ll get the Tour of Britain? He’s had success there in the past.
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17 Aug 2018 14:26

One of Ackermann and Bennett will need to leave Bora Hansgrove if they want a regular diet of GT racing.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 14:52

Leinster wrote:Yup. He’s an elite level sprinter, and he showed at the Giro that he can get over some minor lumps. He’s capable of a TdF stage on the right course, he can maybe even win MSR with a team dedicated to getting him over the Poggio, but he won’t get to try while he’s on the same payroll as Sagan, especially now with the reduced teams.


Bennett wants to race MSR next year, it's the race that matters the most to him to ride.
And that's the best option for Bora by far. A duo Sagan-Bennett is the best thing that could happen for Bora since it solves the tactics problem. Sagan full on the offensive, Bennett for the sprint if ever Sagan is caught back.
Everyone happy, the team even more.
Maybe in two years, it might be a problem if both are too good. Next year, it definitely shouldn't be a problem ;)
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Re: The Sam Bennett Discussion Thread

17 Aug 2018 14:57

Bennett hasn't raced since the Nationals. There was just no way he would ride the Vuelta.
He was supposed to be back for the Cerami (a month ago), then be in London and he was supposed to be riding in the Benelux. He had to be replaced everytime with no given explanation.
I guess he has to do with his health issues (as often with him unfortunately). If someone has some explanations, it would be highly appreciated ;)

His next race was supposed to be Plouay. Let's see if he'll be there. Let's hope so!
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17 Aug 2018 15:25

They had Sagan and Bennett at MSR last year. And Kwiat and Alaphilippe, who both had sprinters in the bunch, both said they didn’t think Sagan was playing the “if we get caught let Bennett win the sprint” card. So Kwiatkowski won the race. And Bennett got dropped, I think after the Cipressa, anyway.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 15:37

Leinster wrote:They had Sagan and Bennett at MSR last year. And Kwiat and Alaphilippe, who both had sprinters in the bunch, both said they didn’t think Sagan was playing the “if we get caught let Bennett win the sprint” card. So Kwiatkowski won the race. And Bennett got dropped, I think after the Cipressa, anyway.


Things have changed since then.
Bennett is way stronger now ;)

But you're right to remind he got dropped too early last time he raced MSR, which is exactly why before pretending to be the first leader of a team for MSR, Bennett has to try to see what he's worth in a race like that first. And that's why a role as a second leader would work for him!
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17 Aug 2018 15:43

I don't think Sagan will ever be able to play the "I have a sprinter in the bunch" card. I mean he can decide not to work for that reason, but nobody is going to behave any differently.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 15:48

barmaher wrote:I don't think Sagan will ever be able to play the "I have a sprinter in the bunch" card. I mean he can decide not to work for that reason, but nobody is going to behave any differently.

Well yeah, he could’ve had Kittel behind, and he’d still ride just the same. Just pointing out that it doesn’t strengthen Sagan’s hand tactically at all to have Bennett. Certainly not as much as having an Oss or Bodnar to support him and maybe lead out if needed.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 17:17

Leinster wrote:
barmaher wrote:I don't think Sagan will ever be able to play the "I have a sprinter in the bunch" card. I mean he can decide not to work for that reason, but nobody is going to behave any differently.

Well yeah, he could’ve had Kittel behind, and he’d still ride just the same. Just pointing out that it doesn’t strengthen Sagan’s hand tactically at all to have Bennett. Certainly not as much as having an Oss or Bodnar to support him and maybe lead out if needed.


It does though.
Just look at this year, MSR was a tactical failure, because both Bora and Sagan didn't know which option was the best between going on the offensive and waiting for a sprint. As a result, they did something in-between which obviosuly couldn't work.
If Bennett is a valid card for MSR, then the tactical dilemma is solved for Bora and for Sagan. Instead of being insecure of what he's supposed to do, Sagan could go fully on the offensive (what he couldn't do so far without taking the risk of not being able to participate in the sprint if he was caught back). The problem of the "what if I'm getting caught" is solved since Bennett is a valid option behind.

Bennett is useful because only by his very presence he enables Sagan to be freed of the tactical dilemma he has to deal with until now ;)
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17 Aug 2018 17:23

If Bennett wins, the race will not be added to Sagan's palmares, so no, Bennett's presence will not help Sagan.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 17:38

tobydawq wrote:If Bennett wins, the race will not be added to Sagan's palmares, so no, Bennett's presence will not help Sagan.

Beo has a point, though, in that if Sagan had Bennett alongside in the last kms this year, he could have gone all out to bridge to Nibali, knowing that if he bridges alone, he wins the race. But if he tows the group across, someone from his team still has a chance to win the race. Part of why he sat up was that he didn’t want to tow, say, Ewan up to Nibali.
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17 Aug 2018 17:41

Any news on why Bennett hasn't been racing lately.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 17:47

grizzlee wrote:Any news on why Bennett hasn't been racing lately.

Nothing on Stickybottle, except to say he isn’t racing the Vuelta, and they usually have someone with a flask of tea sitting outside Sam’s mum’s house in Carrick trying to pick up the gossip.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 17:48

Leinster wrote:
tobydawq wrote:If Bennett wins, the race will not be added to Sagan's palmares, so no, Bennett's presence will not help Sagan.

Beo has a point, though, in that if Sagan had Bennett alongside in the last kms this year, he could have gone all out to bridge to Nibali, knowing that if he bridges alone, he wins the race. But if he tows the group across, someone from his team still has a chance to win the race. Part of why he sat up was that he didn’t want to tow, say, Ewan up to Nibali.


I know that in a world where it's everything for the team in all instances, this is true.

And even though Sagan does not necessarily appear to be very selfish, I don't think Bennett's presence would have mattered at all to Sagan's tactics because he is more selfish than he's letting on. Sagan is a triple world champion, has (not at the time, granted) won both the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, and harnessed successes in practically all races on the calendar where he at his current weight can have the hopes of doing so.

Milan-Sanremo is the glaring hole in that palmares, and if a teammate wins it, I think it would mean quite little to him. It would probably be better than nothing but he even said that he was happy with Nibali winning instead of a sprinter because he's an old friend.

My point is that Sagan would still have had his dilemma. If he had bridged to Nibali, he still risked getting caught and losing, and whether or not Bennett would have been there for the sprint, it would still have been a difficult situation for Sagan because his project is to win, not that the team wins.
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