Saturday 21 September 2019

Sam Bennett continues strong start at Tour of Turkey with second consecutive stage win

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

John Brennan

Ireland’s Sam Bennett won his second stage of the Tour of Turkey in Eceabat today, stretching his overall lead at the top of the general classifcation.

With an uphill finish of a couple of kilometres, this wasn’t a stage the Irishman had marked down as a possible victory in the seven-day race, with Bennett also winning yesterday's opening stage.

But he showed super strength to swoop at the finish line after his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mate Josef Postleberger had made a solo burst for the win and was caught 200m from the line.

This success for Bennett, his fifth sprint victory of his  still-young cycling year, increases the pressure on his German owned-team, who have chosen a German sprinter, Pascal Ackermann, as their protected rider for the Giro d’Italia next month.

Bennett won three stages of the Giro last year and in his wins in 2019, he has already beaten all the best sprinters declared for the Giro. Ackermann is going to have to win a few stages at the Italian race or huge questions will be asked of the Bora team management.

With three-time World Champion Peter Sagan the Bora leader in the Tour de France, Bennett, in the form of his life, may have to wait until August’s Tour of Spain to ride a Grand Tour this year. It seems daft. 

"I took 10 days off the bike after Milan-San-Remo and my form dropped quite a bit so I didn't expect to get the win today," Bennett told the Irish Independent after yesterday's opening stage win.

"It's on the way back up but it's not quite there yet and Jakobsen won last week and is going very well so it was a bit of a surprise.

"The team gathered around me with 2km to go and they did a fantastic job to get me to the front in the finale and then I was able to come off the wheels, so I'm happy."

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