Imago/PA Images Winner, winner: Sam Bennett.
# Sam the man
Special win for Irish champion Bennett as he lands ninth of the season in Belgium
The Carrick-On-Suir rider is enjoying a brilliant run.

2019 IRISH NATIONAL cycling champion Sam Bennett has landed his first win in the coveted jersey on the opening day of the BinckBank Tour in Belgium.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider powered home in rainy conditions to take his ninth victory of the season. 

After a gap in racing following his first national success in late July, Bennett was back to winning ways on his third competitive outing today. He left his final sprint late but eased past Edward Teuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma) in the end.

“I’m really happy to get my first win in the Irish Champion’s jersey here,” Bennett, who was born in Belgium to Irish parents and grew up in Carrick-On-Suir, said afterwards.

“It was a bit dangerous today with the rain, and I skidded a couple of times, but everything ended up okay. The guys put me in a good position in the finale, and I tried to keep this position over the last two kilometers.

“Then I got behind one of the sprint trains and then I launched my sprint at the right moment.

I have a special connection with Belgium and I am particularly happy about this win because it is always difficult to win at this race.

Today, the riders traversed 167.2 flat kilometres from Beveren in the Belgian province of East Flanders, to Hulst in the southwest of the Netherlands.

Race leader heading into day two, 28-year-old Bennett is two seconds clear of Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC Team) and three ahead of Lars Bak (Dimension Data).

Today’s win will come as a nice confidence boost ahead of the Vuelta a España, which starts on 24 August.

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