Sam Bennett had another near-miss at the UAE Tour on Thursday, finishing a fine third on the race’s fifth stage. Bennett was led out strongly by his Bora-hansgrohe teammates including Irish champion Ryan Mullen, but one of the riders in top early-season form, stage one winner Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), was too quick and overtook him.
Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) was also able to get past him closer to the finish line, putting Bennett third on the stage.
The Carrick-on-Suir rider told The Irish Times in the run up to the United Arab Emirates event that it would take several months before he gets back to full speed. He suffered a knee injury last June and missed a large chunk of racing and training as a consequence of that. The event is his first of this season, and his first stage race since l …