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Bennett wins the traditional sprint in Nürnberg on the final day of the Bayern Rundfahrt while Thomas enjoys a safe ride to secure himself the overall win for the second time in his career 

Photo: TNE/Stiehl
















01.06.2014 @ 18:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard
Sam Bennett (NetApp-Endura) continued his meteoric rise throught the sprint ranks when he won the final stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt after the traditional sprint finish in Nürnberg. Geraint Thomas (Sky) finished safely within the bunch to take the overall win for the second time in his career, with Mathias Frank (IAM) and Sky teammate Vasil Kiryienka completing the podium.
With wins in Clasica de Almeria and Rund um Köln, Sam Bennett has had a fantastic start to his professional career with NetApp-Endura. Today he topped both of those wins when he won the final stage of the prestigious Bayern Rundfahrt against some of the fastest sprinters in the world.
After the opening stages of the Bayern Rundfahrt and last week's World Ports Classic, Bennett had publicly vented his frustration that he had messed up perfect teamwork from his teammates, making him unable to come away with a result. Today his team again did a great work, winning the battle with IAM in the finale, and this time their Irish sprinter didn't let them down.
Bennett powered clear on the traditional finishing straight in Nürnberg to beat Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r) and the recent winner of the Velothon Berlin, Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Sharp), in the fast bunch sprint. Heinrich Haussler was unable to finish off the good work of his IAM team, settling for a disappointing 6th.
The stage was held on a 159.6km course from Wassertrüdingen to Nürnberg and after a first part that contained two categorized climbs, the race came to its usual conclusion with 10 laps of a 5km finishing circuit in one of the biggest cities in Bayern. The circuit had a small hill but history had proven that it was a race for the sprinters.
Nonetheless, Jens Voigt (Trek) had a plan to try to deny the sprinters and he was the first rider to launch an attack. At this point, however, his mission failed in what was a very fast start to the race.
Romain Bardet (Ag2r) reached the summit of the first climb as the first rider, with Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE) following in second to secure himself the win in the mountains classification. The peloton splintered to pieces but when 9 riders attacked after 20km of racing, the bunch slowed down and allowed many riders to rejoin the group.
The early break was made up of Hayden Roulston (Trek), Ben Gastauer (Ag2r), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Emanuel Buchmann (Radnet), Jaco Venter (MTN), Daniel Schorn (NetApp), Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin), Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne) and Marcos Garcia (Caja Rural). However, the peloton knew that such a big group could not be allowed too much leeway and for a long time the gap hovered around the 1.30 mark.
Sky and Giant-Shimano did the early work but as the escapees started to ride a bit harder, the gap went up to 2.55 at the 90km mark. This prompted a reaction though and at the first passage of the line, it was down to 1.35.
The gap continued to come down and soon the front goup was down to just 6 riders. With 28km to go, Garcia tried to attack on his own and he was later joined by Schorn.
The Austrian soon fell off the pace while Garcia pressed on on his own. Alexander Grad (Heizomat) and Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne) managed to bridge the gap but with 21km to go, it was back together.
More attacks were launched but none were successful until Voigt and Sepulveda took off. While NetApp and Sky led the chase, the gap continued to grow, reaching 27 seconds just 9km from the line.
Unfortunately for the pair, the peloton had an extra gear and with 6km to, they were brought back. Sky and Katusha led the peloton across the line for the penultimate time and they easily shut down all attacks.
In the finale, IAM and NetApp battled for control and it was the home team that came out on top. They delivered Bennett to a perfect victory while Haussler had to settle for sixth.
Geraint Thomas finished safely within the peloton to take home the overall victory for the second time after his 2011 win while Mathias Frank and Vasil Kiryienka completed the podium. Bennett's win also gave him the victory in the points competition while Meier was the best climber. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was the best young rider and Sky the best team.
With the Bayern Rundfahrt done and dusted, racing in Germany goes on hold until it resumes with the biggest race, the Vattenfall Cyclassics, in the autumn.



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