Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) gobbled up his first WorldTour win since the Giro d’Italia with victory on stage 2 of the Presidential Tour of Turkey. The Irishman, who finished second on stage 1, made no mistake 24 hours later after making use of a fine lead-out from his teammates before capitalising on a final charge to the line from Quick-Step Floors.
The Belgian team were hoping to set up their young sprinter Alvaro Hodeg but the Colombian could only manage second on the line, with Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) finishing a distant third.
Stage 1 winner and overnight race leader, Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors), turned lead-out man for stage 2 and dropped Hodeg off with 200m to go but Bennett showed the opposition a clean pair of heels.
Bennett now leads the race and pulls on the blue jersey, with Richeze relegated to second, six seconds back. The consistent Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing) lies third on GC.
In a similar pattern to stage 1, Wednesday’s stage came down to a bunch sprint. And in similar fashion a number of the pre-race favourites were found wanting, with John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) once again caught too far back as the sprinters jostled for position.
Bennett’s teammate, Lukas Pöstlberger, lined the peloton out in the closing kilometre as the bunch rounded a crucial 90 degree left-hand turn before Quick-Step hit the front and drew Bennett with them. The Irishman, who dined on four stages in Turkey last year, followed Hodeg as the Colombian opened his sprint but the writing was already on the wall as the Bora sprinter opened up for the line.
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