Ireland's Sam Bennett has claimed victory in today's second stage of the BinckBank Tour in Belgium.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider won in a sprint into the Western Flanders town of Ardooie. Bennett pipped Jasper Philipsen (Team UAE Abu Dhabi) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) to the line to maintain his grip on the leader's green jersey.
After yesterday's victory on the opening stage, today brings Bennett's total of stage wins for 2019 to 10.
Relive the final kilometer of the second stage of the #BinckBankTour, from Blankenberge to Ardooie. Once again @Sammmy_Be (@BORAhansgrohe) was the fastest in a bunch sprint! pic.twitter.com/bvM5NpAesw
— BinckBank Tour (@BinckBankTour) August 13, 2019
Today's stage win was an unexpected one from Bennett's point of view as he felt he was unlikely to win a second stage on the tour, "After 70km, my legs weren't that great so I really didn't expect to get a result.
"The guys looked after me so well all day, and kept me at the front. I was saving so much there, and others were losing so much at the back that in the end, I had enough legs to get the win."
Bennett's won stages of the Criterium du Dauphiné this year, as well as two stages and two other top-3 finishes in the Tour of Turkey. Despite his successes, Peter Sagan was preferred as Bora-Hansgrohe's main sprinter for the Tour de France.
However, Bennett is going to be offered a crack at the Vuelta a España, which gets underway in Torrevieja on August 24. Before that, Bennett wouldn't mind completing a hat-trick this week in Belgium, "I'm getting greedy, so I'd like one more stage here.
"We're after having a great tour so far here, so just get through this race and look forward to the Vuelta."
The Irish champion now holds a 12-second lead over Poland's Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC Team) on general classification. Tomorrow's third stage of seven brings the peloton from West Flanders to East, with a 166.9km trek around Aalter.