Sunday 18 August 2019

Ireland's Sam Bennett wins second straight stage at BinckBank Tour with devastating sprint finish

Sam Bennett. Photo: Getty Images
Sam Bennett. Photo: Getty Images

John Brennan

Sam Bennett won today’s second stage of the Tour of Belgium, a flat 152km stage to Ardooie.

The Carrick-on-Suir rider backed up Monday’s win in Hulst with another devastating sprint to cement his hold on the race leader’s jersey for now.

With a time-trial on Saturday and a very hilly stage on Sunday, using many of the climbs of the brutal Tour of Flanders, Bennett won’t hold on for the final overall win, although he currently leads by 12 seconds.

He can certainly dream of another success on Wednesday, as the stage has a pan-flat route beginning and ending in the town of Aalter. It looks tailor-made for the Irish champion. 

Yesterday, Bennett overtook Edward Theuns and Mike Teunissen in the final 100 metres as he came out on top in a bunch sprint at the end of the 167.2km section from Beveren to Hulst.

Bennett told the Tour's official website: "I am really happy. I wanted to take that first win in my champion's jersey as quickly as possible and now it happened.

"The legs were still hurting a bit from yesterday's European Championships, but I was kept in front the whole time by my team-mates.

"It was a dangerous sprint, but in the final two kilometres I managed to use the sprint trains from the other teams. The rain made the stage a lot more nervous, but I'm not complaining now!"

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