Disappointment and adrenaline can make a potent cocktail, and so sprinters are often best approached cautiously after a defeat, but Sam Bennett is not altogether typical of the breed.
After placing fourth in the sprint at the end of stage 1 of the Tour of Qatar, for instance, Bennett was to be found sitting alongside his teammate Rüdiger Selig in the open boot of the Bora-Argon 18 car, listening earnestly as the German offered his debrief of the finale.
“There were a few little mistakes that Rudi noticed but I didn’t. I thought it was pretty good because it was on all day and it’s hard to make those calls when you’re fucked,” Bennett said matter-of-factly afterwards.
“The guys did an amazing job all day looking after me and I think I bottled it a bit at the end. I just waited too long and I should have been a little bit more aggressive. Maybe it was a confidence thing that I didn’t expect to be there today. Hopefully I don’t make the same mistake twice.”