Sam Bennett pipped on stage two of Tour of Turkey
Irish rider came in second place with Maximiliano Richeze taking the victory
Sam Bennett of Team Bora-Hansgrohe, Ariel Maximiliano Richeze Team Quick Step Floors and Jean Pierre Drucker of BMC Racing Team after stage two of the Tour of Turkey. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Returning to a race where he won four out of six stages last year, Sam Bennett went agonisingly close to adding to that tally on Tuesday. The Irish sprinter finished second on the opening stage to Konya, being caught out when the Italian Maximiliano Richeze (QuickStep Floors) jumped clear with 600 metres to go.
Bennett was under-supported by his Bora-hansgrohe team in the finale and might have won had he had extra backing inside the final kilometre. He sprinted hard but was unable to get back to Richeze before the line. He took second with the Luxembourg rider Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing Team) taking third.
Bennett was diplomatic in his assessment of what went wrong. “I was in a good position but I knew we have still five more stages, therefore I didn’t want to take any more risks in this tricky finale,” he said. “The last corner was tough, some riders slipped away, therefore we kept attention, especially in the final kilometres. The guys did a great job the whole day and, in the finale, I did the best I could. QuickStep Floors had the faster legs today, but there are still five stages left and I will try my best.”
Bennett’s compatriot Nicolas Roche is also riding the race. The BMC Racing Team rider rolled in as part of the same main group, placing 47th. Next up is a flatter 154 kilometres stage based in and around Antalya.
Presidential Tour of Turkey (WorldTour)
Stage 1, Konya: 1, Maximiliano Richeze (QuickStep Floors) 150 kilometres in 3 hours 29 mins 14 secs; 2, S. Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe); 3, J.P Drucker (BMC Racing Team); 4, A. Hodeg (QuickStep Floors); 5, B. Jones (Delko Marseille Provence KTM); 6, S. Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) all same time.
Other Irish: 47, N. Roche (BMC Racing Team) same time.