Sam Bennett sprinted to his second stage win of the 2021 Paris-Nice race to reclaim his lead at the top of the points classification.

The Carrick-on-Suir man wore yellow after winning the first stage of the Race to the Sun on Sunday and began today second to Primoz Roglic in the points classification, but retained the green jersey as the Slovenian was in yellow, and made good on his promise earlier this week to target stage five after yesterday's mountainous exploits.

The 200-km ride between Vienne and Bollene was always one earmarked for the sprinters and Deceuninck-Quick-Step led their sprinter down the home straight and he powered through to take the win ahead of Nacer Bouhanni and Bora-Hansgrohe's Pascal Ackerman.

The 30-year-old paid tribute to the work of his team-mates in laying the foundation for the victory, but voiced his frustrations with the tactics employed by some of the riders towards the business end of the race.

"The guys were incredible today," he said. "I was suffering in the last few kilometres. I don't know what it is, but people won’t let me follow my own train here. It’s frustrating.

"I’m not allowed follow my own wheel and guys are coming in and it seems they just want to disrupt our sprints instead of concentrating on their own race. We don’t look at anyone else, I don’t know why they are so fixated with us. 

"I didn’t think I’d hold it until the line. I’m just proud I could finish it off."

The 15 points gained today moves him back to the top of the points classification with 36 points, nine clear of Roglic.

Roglic retains the overall leader's yellow jersey with a 31-second advantage ove Maximilian Schachmann. 

The race will not get its traditional finale on Nice's Promenade des Anglais this year because regional authorities said it would have to avoid the city, which will be under a lockdown on Saturday and Sunday because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

At Tirreno-Adriatico, Bennett's Deceuninck-QuickStep team-mate Julian Alaphilippe took the second stage as defending champion Simon Yates lost more than a minute, having joined a breakaway group that was swallowed up on the final climb to Chiusdino.

The Team BikeExchange rider was caught inside the final kilometre of the 7.5km rise to the line as a pack led by the Ineos Grenadiers' Geraint Thomas stepped up the pace.

Thomas was chasing down Joao Almeida, but in doing so provided the perfect lead-out for the Portuguese's Deceuninck-QuickStep team-mate Alaphilippe to take the stage win.

Jumbo-Visma's Wout Van Aert continues to lead overall, four seconds ahead of Alaphilippe, with Thomas 13th overall, 14 seconds back.

Team BikeExchange's Yates now sits in 58th, one minute 34 seconds down.