Helicopter shot from the VRT (Belgian National TV)

After Dan Martin done a hell of an effort yesterday to stay on the GC podium and took 3rd in stage 9, things been looking good for the other Irish man in the peloton Sam Bennett. The 9th day gave the sprinters only a 2nd chance in this Vuelta and on the billiard level course, the race story was predictable. A Spaniard and a Colombian drove against their better judgment in a day at the front, the peloton did not threaten to miscalculate at any time. The narrow roads in the final could possibly be used to rattle a bit, but everyone obeyed the will of the sprinters. In an unclear bunch sprint, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) had the best papers, but the German was no match for the leg speed of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step). The Irishman won with a bike length, But while waiting for the presentations at the podium, no Sam to be seen? It appears that Sam made an illegal move in the last km (see photo above) and been taken his win away, it would have been his 50th pro win and his team Deceuninck-Quickstep 100th stage win in grand tours…what a disappointment for the Irish fans, his team and off course Sam…

Sam was interviewed as the winner, before the news of the jury came through (Sporza TV)

Revised result stage nine: 1 Pascal Ackermann BOH 3:39:55
2 Gerben Thijssen LTS +0
3 Max Kanter SUN +0
4 Jasper Philipsen UAD +0
5 Jakub Mareczko CCC +0
6 Alexis Renard ISN +0
7 Jon Aberasturi CJR +0
8 Lorrenzo Manzin TDE +0
9 Robert Stannard MTS +0
10 Reinardt Janse van Rensburg NTT +0

Photo “Het Nieuwsblad Bel)

Lefevere threw his toys out of his pram after Sam been punished by the jury: “Bennett was already on his sprint train” Patrick Lefevere did not agree with the decision of the VAR as according to the Deceuninck-Quick-Step DS ” What bullshit, Sam was in he’s lead out and the @trek rider want to pull him out of it, but we all know the competences of the UCI” he added cynically on his Twitter account

FOTO: EPA-EFE (Het Nieuwsblad Bel)

General Classification: 1 Richard Carapaz IGD 36:11:01
2 Primož Roglic TJV @13″
3 Daniel Martin ISN @28″
4 Hugh Carthy EF1 @44″
5 Enric Mas MOV @1:54″
6 Felix Großschartner BOH @3:28″
7 Esteban Chaves MTS @3:28″
8 Alejandro Valverde MOV @3:35″
9 Marc Soler MOV @3:40″
10 Wout Poels TBM @3:47