"I think it's going to be war here" - Sam Bennett impressed by depth of the sprinting field at the UAE Tour

Sam Bennett nearly started this season with a stage victory at Tour de la Provence, only losing to Tom Van Asbroeck in the final stage. While not everything worked out at the debut with his new employer Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team, there is always another chance, and such will be presented to Bennett at UAE Tour, starting on Monday. However the experienced Irishman will have to rely on limited team support in the race.

"I don't remember such a competitive sprint field," he says to GCN prior to the race. "It feels like every team has one and as big as the roads are here, we are not all going to fit! There's only three real sprint stages, there's people going to miss out and the thing is, sprinters have egos and that's going to be hard."

Gianluca Pollefliet will make his professional debut at UAE Tour and incidentally, it also appears that the 22-year-old will be responsible for his Irish leader in bunch sprints. "They threw him in at the deep end!" chuckles Bennett. "But I have confidence in him, he has the power, he comes from the track and I think I should be able to navigate through the peloton quite well. We will just have to play it by ear and see how we go."

"I think it's going to be war here," he admits. "But with two, you will be able to move a lot nicer through the bunch. There's no way trains are going to be able to stick together here, they are going to get lost. Then what happens with cyclists is, you get broken up and sometimes they don't have the ability to improvise and then the moment is gone. With two guys, you're either with them or you're not, and then you just do your own thing and go off feel."

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