Chatelaillon-Plage (France), Sept. 8: Sam Bennett sealed his first Tour de France stage win and took the green jersey from Peter Sagan on Tuesday, while Primoz Roglic's lead in the general classification held firm.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Bennett pulled out from behind Michael Morkov with around 500 metres of stage 10 remaining and held off a charge from Caleb Ewan to triumph.
The Irishman consequently moved ahead of reigning points classification champion Sagan, who finished third, after the flat 168.5-kilometre ride from Ile d'Oleron to Ile de Re following Monday's rest day.
Roglic and his fellow general classification contenders negotiated a number of falls along the stage, meaning the Slovenian retained the yellow jersey with his lead over Egan Bernal staying at 21 seconds.
Traffic obstacles led to a series of crashes and a sense of tension in the peloton, something that was perhaps not helped by team members from Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale, Team Ineos and Mitchelton-Scott having tested positive for COVID-19 and been forced to leave the bubble.
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) avoided losing any ground in the GC despite going down with around 65km to go, while Richard Carapaz and Julian Alaphilippe also suffered mishaps.
While Giro d'Italia champion Carapaz was able to get back to the main group, Alaphilippe suffered a mechanical issue and ended up crossing the line 10 minutes and 52 seconds later.
Bennett was happy to sit behind intermediate sprint winner Matteo Trentin and runner-up Sagan at Chatelaillon-Plage, but he was not to be denied in the final stretch and regained the green jersey.
EMOTIONAL MOMENT FOR BENNETT
Having abandoned his Tour debut in 2015 due to sickness, raced on despite suffering broken fingers in a crash in 2016, and been denied by Ewan in a sprint finish on stage three this year, Bennett was emotional after finally getting his first stage win in the race.
"I don't think it's hit me, because I forgot to throw the bike at the line in the moment and I thought he might have got me. I thought I'd be in floods of tears but I'm in shock," he said, before his voice started to crack.
"I just want to thank everyone that's been involved. I want to thank the whole team and Patrick [Lefevere, the team CEO] for giving me this opportunity, and just everybody it took to get to here. I want to thank my wife and everybody around me.
"You dream of it and you never think it'll happen and it has. I don't know, it just took a while for it to hit me … oh man.
"I was waiting to go and thought maybe I was waiting too late and I went. I thought maybe I was in too big a gear. I don't know. Sorry, I don't mean to be a crybaby."
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3:35:22 2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) +0:00 3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:00 4. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) +0:00 5. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +0:00
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 42:15:23 2. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +0:21 3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:28
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 196 2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 175 3. Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) 129
King of the Mountains
1. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) 36 2. Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) 31 3. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) 26
It will be another day for the sprinters on stage 11, which is a flat 167.5km journey from Chatelaillon-Plage to Poitiers. A final straight of 1.5km looks set to host an entertaining finale.
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