Bennett prevails in final sprint to win 9th stage of Vuelta

AGUILAR DEL CAMPOO, Spain (AP) — Sam Bennett timed the final sprint perfectly to win the ninth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Thursday.

There were no major changes in the overall standings, with Richard Carapaz keeping a 13-second lead over defending champion Primoz Roglic.

It was the second stage win for Bennett, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider who also prevailed in the sprint at the end of the fourth stage. It was his eighth win of the year, and 50th of his career. The Irishman won two stages at the Tour de France this year.

Roglic, celebrating his 31st birthday, needed a bicycle change with about 13 kilometers (eight miles) left because of a mechanical issue but was able to rejoin the peloton.

The final 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) of the stage were a loop around the Aguilar reservoir.

The peloton stayed bunched up until about five kilometers (3.1 miles) left in the 157-kilometer (97-mile) stage that favored the sprinters.

On Friday, riders will travel 185 kilometers (115 miles) bordering the Cantabrian coast in a mostly flat 10th stage that includes a Category 3 climb near the end.

The Vuelta is reaching the end of the second of three weeks of racing amid tight health restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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