Sam Bennett's fine 2020 form continued with a 2nd place finish on stage 2 of the UAE Tour.
The Deceuninck-QuickStep sprinter finished just behind Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) following a climb to Hatta Dam.
Bennett ends the second day of the seven-stage tour second on general classification and just 12-seconds off the lead of Ewan.
More accustomed to a flat track finish, the Carrick-on-Suir rider performed well on the climb, and it was he who kicked first for the line.
UAE Tour 2020 - Stage 2 - Last Kilometer pic.twitter.com/MLAbFwaZF5
— UAE Tour Official (@uae_tour) February 24, 2020
Speaking after the stage, Bennett says a vital error near the very end of the stage cost him victory, "I checked right and then rode into the barriers for a split second, and that gave him [Ewan] about a bike length.
"He got a bike length and I couldn’t get it back but I kicked again and then we drew even for a second but I just didn’t have the legs to get the jump.
"I tried everything by going early and getting the gap, the gearing was okay, but there was nothing else I could do."
The win repeats Ewan's victory at the same location in last year's UAE Tour.
Bennett shared the incredible power output stats that so nearly delivered a stage win, "I did 1400 watts for five seconds but after the climbs and the run-up it’s all uphill for 6km.
"I think that this is good for my head, to know that I can do that effort after racing in the finale. I’m happy with my performance."
Tuesday's 3rd stage is a mountain stage to Jebel Hafeet, but with three sprint finishes still to come this week there is ample opportunity for Bennett to take another stage victory.