George Bennett has bounced back from a tough day in the mountains yesterday to earn back his spot in the top 10 in the Tour of the Alps.
Bennett, who has finished in the top 11 of all of his stage races in 2018, claimed fourth on the third stage in the Alps to move into sixth place on the general classification, one minute and 21 seconds behind overall leader Thibaut Pinot.
It was a comparatively less stressful day for Bennett, who found himself as part of a fast-reducing peloton as the riders took on the two big climbs of the day. The peloton was quickly whittled away due to an early attack from Pinot and fellow general classification contender Domenico Pozzovivo, with the duo sneaking away in a small group to gain a minute on the other contenders.
That forced Astana (for Miguel Angel Lopez) and Team Sky (for Chris Froome) to pick up the pace, and an attack from Froome late on the second climb once again saw only the top riders stay with him, with Bennett amongst a select group.
After 31 kilometres of climbs, that select group crested onto an 18 kilometre descent, where the race came back together. Pinot's group were brought back by Froome, while a handful of riders got back into the bunch to create a leading group of 11 in the final 10 kilometres.
That did not include former race leader Ivan Sosa, with the promising 20-year-old crashing on the descent, leaving Pinot - who finished second - to take over the overall lead, 15 seconds ahead of Pozzovivo, who claimed third on the stage.
While that pairing will battle it out for overall honours on the final two stage, today the glory went to Australian Ben O'Connor, with the former winner of the New Zealand Cycle Classic escaping from the group on the descent and riding solo to take an impressive victory, five seconds ahead of the bunch.
That bunch included Bennett, who sprinted across the line in fourth to gain back the GC places he lost yesterday, and stay on track for yet another top 10 finish.