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Bennett sprints to victory on stage four, Roglic retains red jersey

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - Stage 20 - Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles - France - September 19, 2020. Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Sam Bennett of Ireland, wearing the green jersey, finishes. Pool via REUTERS/Christophe Ena

EJEA DE LOS CABALLEROS, Spain (Reuters) - Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Sam Bennett sprinted to victory on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana, pipping rival Jasper Philipsen to victory as Primoz Roglic retained the red jersey on another gloomy day in Spain.

The 192km flat route from Garray to Ejea de los Caballeros saw a four man breakaway speed off after just two kilometres of racing. However, they were reeled in by the peloton with 15km to go as the teams lined up their sprinters for a quick finish.

In the closing stages UAE Team Emirates and Bora-Hansgrohe hit the front, with Philipsen launching 200 metres from the finish.

Irishman Bennett went on the Dane’s wheel and won by a bike length to claim a third overall stage win at the Vuelta and a first of this year’s race.

“It was mad how we said ‘we need to be together at one point’, and at the point the team was all there,” Bennett said.

“They did the job perfectly, came together when we needed to – even more of them than we asked to be there. We only asked a few guys but it was the whole team. They did an absolutely fantastic job.

“Philipsen came up the inside and got such a jump that I didn’t think I’d catch him but in the end I started getting more and more speed and I was still accelerating towards the line.”

There was no movement in the general classification, with Roglic remaining in the race lead and Bennett’s compatriot Dan Martin five seconds back on the Slovenian.

Saturday’s fifth stage is the kind of rolling route which might favour a breakaway as the riders tackle the 184km stage from Huesca to Sabinanigo, which features three categorised climbs.

Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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