Sam Bennett doubles up with second stage win at the BinckBank Tour
The second stage of the BinckBank Tour featured a flat 169.1 km-long course that took the riders from the Belgian coastal city of Blankenberg to the West Flemish town of Ardooie and was, like yesterday, a stage for the fast finishers. Just like on Monday, rain and wind made racing more challenging. However, aside from five cobbled sectors, the route did not present any significant topographical challenges. The stage featured a Golden Kilometre once again, which provided the riders the opportunity to gain further valuable sprint points. The breakaway of the day formed fairly early and was able to carve out an advantage of almost three minutes before the teams of the sprinters, among them BORA-hansgrohe, took up the chase in earnest. The squad from Raubling led the main field for a significant amount of time to control the tempo, and the distance to the front group dwindled to less than a minute with 30km of road left. The sprinters’ teams had a good chance to contest the win today, and weren’t prepared to let this opportunity slip through their fingers, so it was only a matter of time before the breakaway was caught. With 10km to go, the peloton had the escapees in their sight and it was not long before they were caught. In the finale, Sam positioned himself on D. Groenewegen's wheel and when the Irish champion swung out from behind, he launched his sprint and was able to secure the win, his second at this year's BinckBank Tour. With that, he was also also able to extend his lead in the General Classification and maintain first place in the points competition.
01 S. Bennett 3:45:20
02 J. Philipsen +0:00
03 D. Groenewegen +0:00
From the finish line
“I can’t believe that I won for a second time here. After 70 km, my legs weren’t feeling the best, and so I was a bit surprised to have pulled it off today. The guys supported me very well and kept me towards the front and in an energy-saving position. In the end, I still had the legs to sprint over the line first. I’m really happy with this win and if possible, I’d like to go for another stage victory here. We’ve had a lot of success here so far, and we’re in good form, so we’ll see what’s possible.” – Sam Bennett
“It was hard going, to make the race culminate in a mass sprint. The six riders from the breakaway really made the peloton work in order to make the catch, and they were caught only 3 km ahead of the finish. From this perspective, the team deserves a particularly special mention today, as we were able to not only take the win, but also defend the green leader’s jersey. Sam is in outstanding form, and the team really deserves a lot of praise for its performance today.” – Jens Zemke, Sports Director