Sam Bennett finishes third on stage to extend lead in Turkey

Irish cyclist also remains top of points standing ahead of Saturday’s long climb

Sam Bennett clocked up another fine performance on stage four of the Presidential Tour of Turkey on Friday, netting third on the stage to Bursa. The 194.3 kilometre leg concluded with a 2.7 kilometre climb to the line but this wasn't tough enough to see off the sprinters.

Spanish rider Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane) jumped early. Bennett tried to close but was in turn passed by the Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who won the stage. Bennett took third, and extends his overall lead thanks to the time bonus for that placing. He is now 24 seconds ahead of his team-mate Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) and 26 in front of Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Manzana Postobon).

Bennett also remains at the top of the points classification. He has 57 points with Ewan on 40. Saturday’s stage finishes with a long climb which will almost certainly end Bennett’s overall classification lead, but he should hold the points jersey heading into the much flatter final stage in Istanbul on Sunday, which he won last year.

British riders Alex Luhrs and Daniel Bigham of the Ribble Pro team took first and second on the opening stage of the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan in on Friday, with the duo plus Ben Healy (Team Ireland) the remnants of an early eight-man breakaway group.


Healy finished two seconds back, with past winner Mark Dowling (Leinster) best of the chasers. He was one minute 39 seconds back, with a large group a further two seconds behind.


Stage 5, Balikesir to Bursa: 1 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 194.3 kilometres in 5 hours 21 mins 38 secs; 2 J Jose Lobato Del Valle (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane); 3 S Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe); 4 S Consonni (UAE Team Emirates); 5 F Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) ; 6 J Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) all same time.

General classification after stage 4: 1 Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 16 hours 25 mins 42 secs ; 2 F Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 24 secs ; 3 J Restrepo Valencia (Manzana Postobon) at 26 secs ; 4 J Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) at 30 secs ; 5 G Serrano Rodriguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) ; 6 V Conti (UAE Team Emirates) both same time

Points classification: 1 Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 57 pts; 2 C Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 40; 3 F Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 40; 4 S Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) 28; 5 C Noppe (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) 23; 6 G Serrano Rodriguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) 18

Team classification: 1 Bora-Hansgrohe, 49 hours 18 mins 40 secs; 2 UAE Team Emirates at 5 secs ; 3 Manzana Postobon at 16 secs


Stage 1: Sliabh Luachra: 1 Alex Luhrs (Ribble Pro) 93.6 kilometres in 2 hours 8 mins 50 secs; 2 D Bigham (Ribble Pro) same time; 3 B Healy (Irish National Team) at 2 secs; 4 M Dowling (Leinster) at 1 min 39 secs; 5 C McNamara (Surrey League) at 1 min 41 secs; 6 J Freeman (Surrey League) same time

King of the Mountains: Bingham. Under 23: Healy. Senior 2 rider: Patrick Clifford (Mr Pink)

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling