Sam Bennett has won another stage of the Tour of Belgium and extended his overall lead to 20 seconds.
The Carrick-on-Suir flyer won by a tyre’s width at the end of the 138km stage that started and finished in Aalter.
Bennett just beat Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen, one of the fastest men in the professional peloton, and a stage winner in the Tour de France last month.
How Bennett must rue the fact that his Bora-Hansgrohe team would not include him in their Tour team, as there was surely a Tour de France stage win there for him.
He now leads the race by those 20 seconds from Dane Jesper Philipsen and Groenewegen.
Bennett has now won three straight stages in Belgium, after also crossing the line first in Hurst and Ardooie.
Speaking after this first stage win, Bennett said:
“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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