Sam Bennett fined for shoulder barging at Paris-Nice, will not start after injuring fingers

Bennett received four stitches in fingers of right hand, and will not start stage 4 time trial at Paris-Nice

Sam Bennett hit double-trouble at Paris-Nice Tuesday, crashing and injuring his hand in the final sprint, and later discovering he was to be fined for shoulder barging during the stage.

Despite hoping to continue, the Irish sprinter will not start Wednesday’s 15-kilometer time trial in Saint-Amand-Montrond, Deceuninck-Quick-Step officials confirmed.

In addition to the crash, the Irishman felt the sting of a fine and points penalization. Race officials confirmed Tuesday that Bennett has been fined 800 Swiss francs ($855USD) and docked 40 UCI points on account of ‘incorrect behavior.’

The burly sprinter was to be sanctioned for a series of barges in the finale of the day’s stage, the first of which – on Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) – was captured on video and re-posted on Twitter.

Bennett was unable to go on to contest the sprint, being caught in a heavy crash involving Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) in the final 200 meters. Bennett stayed on the ground several minutes holding his hand and shoulder, but was able to ride to the line with blood on his hand.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step posted an update from Bennett Tuesday night, who had received four stitches in fingers on his right hand, but had managed to escape any fractures.

“I lost some skin and needed those stitches, because when I went into the barrier, I hit the metal part, but luckily, everything else seems pretty ok,” he said. “I will continue the race and start Wednesday’s individual time trial. I’m quite happy it will be a short stage tomorrow and I hope things will turn around for me at some point.”

The remaining sprinters will have slim chances of bagging a stage of what remains of Paris-Nice. After Wednesday’s time trial, the eight-stage race takes on a series of tough rolling or mountainous stages unlikely to end in a bunch kick.