Sam Bennett sprints to victory in Vuelta stage 4 as Roglic keeps race lead 

Ejea de los Caballeros (Spain) (AFP) –

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Ireland's Sam Bennett edged a dramatic final sprint to win stage four of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday, with Primoz Roglic maintaining the overall lead.

Bennett of Deceuninck, who won the green points jersey at the Tour de France last month, pipped Belgian Jasper Philipsen of UAE on the line by three quarters of a bike length with Italian Jakub Mareczko of CCC third.

A stage well-suited to the sprinters left the overall classification unchanged and Slovenian Roglic of Jumbo-Visma remained five seconds ahead of another Irishman, Dan Martin, who had won the third stage on Thursday.

Philipsen of UAE Team Emirates seemed to be in charge but Bennett tore past to add another stage victory to the two he won at the Vuelta last year.

"It was so fast in the run-in, I was a bit nervous," said Bennett before thanking his team for their effort at the finish. "It was fast all day but I was nervous at the end. Then in the final sprint we weren't all together. We said we needed to be and it came together when we needed it to.

"We only asked a few guys to be there and the whole team were there to support, they did an absolutely fantastic job."

After seeing off Philipsen down the final straight, Bennett said: "I had the power but when he initially went he was so explosive out of the corner I didn't know if I could catch him."

Bennett won two stages on this year's Tour de France and also had three stage wins on the 2018 Giro d'Italia.