Tour de France: Ireland’s Sam Bennett claims first stage win

Paris, Sep 9 (IANS) Ireland’s Sam Bennett edged out Australia’s Caleb Ewan and Slovakia’s Peter Sagan in a sprint finish to claim his first stage win on the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic defended his yellow jersey after the 168.5 ride from Ile d’Oleron Le Chatea-d’Oleron to Ile de Re Saint-Martin-de-Re.

On Tuesday, Bennett became the sixth Irishman to win a stage at the Tour and ensured he now has stage wins at all three of cycling’s Grand Tours. He won three at the Giro d’Italia in 2018 and two at the Vuelta a Espana in 2019, reports Xinhua news agency.

“You dream of it and never think it will happen,” an emotional Bennett said after the race, during which the 29-year-old collected 65 sprint points to clinch the green jersey from Slovakia’s Peter Sagan.

Slovenia’s Roglic arrived with the leading group to remain 21 seconds ahead of defending champion Egan Bernal on the overall standings.

Only a couple of hours before the race started on Tuesday, the Tour organisers announced that all the riders’ tests returned negative but race director Christian Prudhomme tested positive for Covid-19 along with four staff members from four different teams.

All five infected people have been dropped from the race bubble and been put in medical quarantine.

–IANS

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