Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took his first win of the 2022 campaign at Eschborn-Frankfurt, sprinting to victory from a bunched peloton at the end of the 185km race.
The Irishman held off Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) in the final dash to the line, claiming the 57th win of his career and his first since returning to Bora-Hansgrohe over the winter.
"I think the team were fantastic today. They really looked after me all day, helped to control the race, and then in the final there was a perfect job in the positioning. Danny really timed the lead out to perfection, brought me inside 200 to go with a lot of speed," Bennett said after his win.
"I had really good legs as well, but I just want to thank the whole team, the staff, just for supporting me the last few months, getting back on track, and always believing in me. I'm super happy with result and it's fantastic to get the win for a German team at a German race.
"The last couple of months was still just working on the base and I started working on my top end the last 10 days and it's already showing. I have a training period now where I can work towards some big goals in June and July."
Bora-Hansgrohe had been among the teams controlling the race on the final run to the finish in Frankfurt, the German squad joined by the likes of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Uno-X, and Bahrain Victorious in the closing kilometres.
Heading into the final kilometre, it was Bahrain and Intermarché who looked to be in charge. Bora lurked behind, biding their time as Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) launched ahead of teammate Kristoff.
The move came too early, though, and Danny van Poppel moved through to the front at the perfect time with Bennett in his wheel. Gaviria and Kristoff jumped on to Bennett's wheel in the closing metres, but it was too late to get past the Irishman, who led from the front to clinch victory.
The race had been all set for a sprint finish after the early breakaway was caught at 42km to go, with Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) the last man standing from a quintet which included Daan Hoole (Trek-Segafredo), Johan Meens (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB), Juan Antonio López (Burgos-BH), and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM).
The group's advantage reached over five minutes at one point during the hills in the mid-section of the race, but with a bunch sprint deciding the outcome in each of the past six editions, they were never likely to survive to the finish.
After the break was caught, another move tried to get away, with Girmay and Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) among five men who briefly attempted to go on the attack. The group was quickly brought back, though, and the final 40km was raced with few disruptions in the peloton en route to the sprint finish.
Results powered by FirstCycling
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.
Thank you for signing up to Cyclingnews. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Giro d'Italia stage 13 - Live coverageA day for the sprinters as the peloton heads away from the coast
Peter Sagan ramps up for Tour de France at Utah high-altitude campTotalEnergies coach says Sagan suffered 'post-COVID syndrome' during the spring
The Musette - Performance casual shorts, SPD Chelsea boots, a half titanium Brompton, and a stealthy bellThe Cyclingnews team's Friday foray into the latest cycling tech to land on their desks
Egan Bernal could make racing return in July or AugustColombian tight-lipped about plans as he continues rehabilitation