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'I couldn't hold down my food'...
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'I couldn't hold down my food' | Sam Bennett on Gent Wevelgem finish

After a stellar performance, Irish rider Sam Bennett suffered a difficult finish during the closing stages of today's Gent Wevelgem.

The notoriously difficult Belgian race tests riders in many ways, but Bennett displayed grit and skill to stay in the leading pack for most portion of the 250 kilometres.

However, having come through the gruelling Kemmelberg climb, he began to retreat from the front.

Bennett then appeared to vomit repeatedly, before managing to regain his position somewhat in the following kilometres.

 

"We went hard over the Kemmel the last time and I threw up my food, so after a little while, I had no food and I had a hunger flat, so I went from one extreme to another,” Bennett said after the race.

“The legs blew up and I just had nothing. I couldn’t do anymore. I just had a hunger flat. I felt dizzy and I felt faint, and I had nothing left.

“I was trying to hold it down a lot, because I knew if I held it down long enough, I’d be ok, but it just wouldn’t stay down.”

Assessing why it happened, the Carrick-on-Suir native - who has been in superb form - said it was down to his own preparation.

“I just ate too much, because I was trying to fuel as much as possible,” he conceded.

“I had to go so deep the last time up the Kemmel. There was too much in my stomach, and I couldn’t hold down my food.

"It was just my own fault. I tried to refuel because it’s a really long race and I over-ate.

“I thought once I survived that, I’d make it to the finish but then when all my food was out of my stomach, it was only a matter of minutes before I had no energy left in the legs,” said Bennett.

The race, which took place in some sections in strong crosswinds, was eventually won by Belgium's Wout van Aert.

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