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Bennett thrilled to clinch Classic victory in Belgium


Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett


Sam Bennett

Irish rider Sam Bennett won the sprint finish to claim victory in the Classic Brugge-De Panne.

It was Bennett's first win in a one-day WorldTour race, as he beat Jasper Philipsen and Pascal Ackermann in a sprint to the line.

The 30-year-old, who races for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, also secured his first one-day victory of the season in Belgium.

"It's super important to get this win," said Bennett. "Being in a Belgian team with Belgian sponsors, we want to perform on home soil. For myself, personally, it's my first one-day WorldTour race - something I've been chasing for many years and I'm happy to get it here."

Bennett was also slightly critical of the course, with a number of turns in the final kilometres, saying: "I was a little bit nervous, there were too many yellow poles and brick walls and footsteps coming up for a bunch sprint like that.

"It's an important race and everyone wants to be there. You have a lot of riders under pressure and we all want to get a result - you don't need that in the final. It was a good day."

Meanwhile, Britain's Adam Yates claimed victory over the final climb of stage three of the Volta a Catalunya to take the lead in the general classification standings.

Heading into the last 5km, Ineos Grenadiers rider Yates was part of a three-man breakaway along with Jumbo-Visma's Sepp Kuss and Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.

American Kuss and Yates then pulled clear, with the British rider attacking again for a solo run up the final climb.

Yates finished 13 seconds ahead of Colombian Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange), who made a late surge to finish second, while Geraint Thomas was fourth behind Valverde.

It was Yates' first victory since joining the Ineos Grenadiers, and his second at the same summit finish following on from the 2019 race when he went on to be runner-up.

"It feels really good," he said. "We had to get the break under control, they gained a lot of time, we had to get the gap down before the bottom of the climb, but it's a long climb, a hard climb.

"We knew even if they had a couple of minutes at the bottom we could bring it back, and everything was perfect in the end. It's my first victory for my new team and I'm really happy."

Belfast Telegraph

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