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Bennett savours Paris win as Pogacar takes Tour crown



Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett


Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett took victory on the Champs-Elysees after securing the green jersey on the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris as Tadej Pogacar rolled home in yellow to cap a remarkable closing weekend.

Bennett beat world champion Mads Pedersen in a sprint finish to take his second stage win of the Tour, having already wrapped up the points classification at the intermediate sprint of the 122km stage from Mantes-la-Jolie.

It made Bennett the first Irishman to win a major jersey at one of the three Grand Tours since Sean Kelly won green at the Tour for the fourth and final time in 1989.

Bennett launched his sprint early and looked like he might be overhauled by the hard-charging Pedersen, but he would not be denied in the race all sprinters want to win the most.

"I can't tell you how excited I am," Bennett said. "The green jersey and the Champs-Elysees, the world championships of sprinting. I never thought I'd be able to win this stage and to do it in green is so special.

"And to do it too with my dream team, Deceuninck-QuickStep - the way the boys rode all day was fantastic. It's just so amazing the feeling, I can't thank everyone enough."

Peter Sagan took third place ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Elia Viviani. Green was the only classification left to be determined after Pogacar's incredible ride in Saturday's time trial on La Planche des Belles Filles saw the Slovenian secure the yellow jersey as well as the King of the Mountains' polka dots and the best young rider's white on his Tour debut.

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A day before his 22nd birthday, Pogacar is the youngest winner since a 19-year-old Henri Cornet won a very different looking event back in 1904.

"It's unbelievable, crazy," Pogacar said. "Even if I would have come second or last, it wouldn't matter, it would still be nice to be here but this is just the top of the top."

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