Sam Bennett makes it back-to-back stage wins in Turkey
Irish Bora-hansgrohe sprinter comfortably beat Edward Theuns for eighth win this year
Sam Bennett from the BoraHansgrohe team in the turquoise leader’s jersey sprints to win the second stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 2017. Photo: Artur Widak/Getty Images
Proving once again he is the quickest sprinter in the race, Sam Bennett took his second consecutive stage win in the Presidential Tour of Turkey on Wednesday. The Irish Bora-hansgrohe sprinter comfortably beat Edward Theuns (Trek - Segafredo), Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team), Marco Benfatto (Androni - Sidermec) and the rest of the bunch to the line in Fethiye.
Combined with his win last week in the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro in Germany, it is Bennett’s third race victory in a row and continues what has been an impressive year.
“It’s my eighth win this season. I’m really happy about this,” he said after the finish, then explaining how things played out with his team in the finale. “We couldn’t be 1-2-3 into the last corner like we wanted to, but we got onto Trek’s wheel which was a good position.
“A gap opened in the final. I didn’t know if he [theuns] was going to let the wheel go, or take a run at him. But I decided to go early, and he decided to take a run at his last man. And then, when he hit the front, I tried to hit the front also. I wanted to go pretty early again today.”
Bennett’s jump quickly carried him past Theuns and saw him reach the finish line over a bike length clear. It also justified the sprint favourite status he had going into the race, something he said he was very aware of. “I did find it difficult yesterday,” he admitted. “Today the pressure came more from myself than from my competitors or the team. I want to be successful. I thought we’d get more freedom in the sprint, but in the end we delivered the result.”
The WorldTour event continues Thursday with a 128.6 kilometre stage to Marmaris. Bennett is ten seconds clear of Theuns in the overall standings, although he believes the climbs in the race will put the final general classification win out of reach.