Perhaps George Bennett isn't Superman after all.

That moniker is already claimed by Miguel Angel Lopez in the world of cycling, and Lopez showed why this morning, winning a gruelling second stage of the Tour of the Alps.

However, yesterday it could have applied to Bennett, such was the near disaster he overcame. Just a day removed from being hit by a car and stating he was "lucky to be alive", Bennett claimed seventh on the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps - a remarkable ride given the circumstances.

This morning, the toughest stage of the five-stage race proved Bennett's kryptonite, with the 28-year-old fading in the last 1.5 kilometres of a taxing climb which doubled as a mountain-top finish.


With the final 7.7 kilometres uphill, and the last four kilometres being particularly steep, Bennett hung with the favourites and looked comfortable in the pack until 1.5 kilometres to go, where he swung wide of the group and immediately drifted backwards as the pace kicked up - perhaps an understandable lingering after-effect from the crash.

The pace which sent Bennett backwards was set by Team Sky, with Chris Froome driving on, before Domenico Pozzovivo had a crack in the final kilometre. However, that pairing used up their energy too soon, and a trio were left sprinting for the line.

20-year-old Ivan Sosa finished a surprising third to claim the leader's jersey, Thibaut Pinot finished second, but neither rider was on the same planet as Lopez, who won the sprint and earned stage honours.

Bennett, who told Cycling News yesterday that "There is no pressure to do general classification", finished 17th on the stage, losing a minute and nine seconds to drop down the overall classification to 11th place - realistically out of contention for a top five overall finish.

Instead, he may end up chasing stage victories or simply getting more miles into his legs before the Giro d'Italia. Tomorrow's stage will likely end in a reduced bunch sprint between the best climbers, with 31 kilometres of climbing near the end of the stage concluding with a 18 kilometre descent and six kilometres of flat terrain to the line.