Sam Bennett crosses the line in first place on day one of the Tour of Turkey, photo credit: ©BORA-hansgrohe
Sam Bennett, the Carrick on Suir star cyclist, has crossed the line in first place on the opening day of the Tour of Turkey today, Tuesday (September 10) - and will now wear the race leader's jersey!
The first stage of the 53rd edition of the Tour of Turkey started from Alanya and led the riders along a 176.7km long flat course to the finish in Kemer. Along the route, the peloton passed through a ‘Beauties of Turkey’ sprint, which was positioned alongside important historical sites, as well as a fourth category climb, and two intermediate sprints.
With the mercury reaching 20 degrees by the middle of the day, the first stage got underway, with BORA – hansgrohe focusing their efforts on Irish sprinter Sam Bennett.
The peloton set a high tempo into the finishing straight, with Alex Saramotins and Shane Archbold the last remaining riders for Sam. A few metres before the finish, Sam passed through the right hand side to take an emphatic victory. His teammate Matteo Pelucchi took fifth place.
With his victory, Sam will also don the turquoise leader’s jersey.
Enrico Poitschke, BORA – hansgrohe sports director, expressed his excitement with the result of his team at the finish: “We really concentrated on winning the stage with Sam. We were content to let a small group get away, and then we worked with Trek-Segafredo to control the race. Every rider on the team did a fantastic job, and it’s nice to crown this great teamwork with a win today. It’s also a particularly good result for Sam, who notched up yet another victory after a longer break.”