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(Reuters) - Ireland's Sam Bennett beat some of the world's best sprinters to snatch the third stage of Paris-Nice on Tuesday as France's Arnaud Demare retained the overall lead.
The 26-year-old Bennett (Bora-Hansgroghe) powered to victory from a pack containing the likes of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), John Degenkolb (Trek) and Marcel Kittel (Quick Step) at the end of 190km of racing towards Chalon-sur-Saone.
Kristoff was second and Degenkolb third while Demare finished sixth to stay six seconds ahead of France's Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) ahead of Wednesday's time trial.
The Katusha team and Quick Step lined up Kristoff and Kittel with one kilometre to go and Demare found himself blocked near the barriers as Bennett seized his chance with 150 metres remaining to secure his first win of the season.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond