Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) defended his leader’s jersey at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey today in the best way possible with another stage win.
The second stage took the riders from Kumluca to Fethiye over 206km and this stage once again favoured the sprinters in the peloton with only two short climbs and again a flat finish.
From the drop of the flag, the day´s breakaway formed as Onur Balkan (Turkey) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) went clear. They were later joined by Alfonso Murilo (Soul Brasil) and they built an advantage of several minutes. The BORA – hansgrohe squad of race leader Bennett stayed at the front of the peloton and ensured the leaders were kept in check.
With 40 kilometres remaining the escapees still had an advantage of more than one minute, but just 12 kilometres before the finish, the peloton closed the gap and the expected bunch sprint was set up.
As with yesterday, Silvio Herklotz, Gregor Mühlberger, Alex Saramotins and Shane Archbold worked well for the final lead out for Bennett.
Alongside Trek-Segafredo, the BORA – hansgrohe squad were towards the front inside the final kilometres, where a tough fight for the best positions started. Bennett was left in a good position by his team mates and jumped earlier than he did on the opening stage. He took the victory with a significant gap over his nearest challengers – Edward Theuns (Trek – Segafredo) and Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team).
Bennett also defended his leaders jersey and will start the third stage of the Tour of Turkey tomorrow in in the turquoise leader jersey.
Enrico Poitschke, sports director of BORA – hansgrohe was more than happy with his second victory in Turkey: “It was a long day and we had headwind. We were able to control the race, especially Leo and Schwarzi did a great job. Everyone was again involved in this victory and Sam had good legs. It is really nice to win two stages in a row and defend the leaders jersey.”
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora – Hansgrohe 6:02:06
2 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek – Segafredo
3 Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
4 Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia
5 Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia
7 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia
8 Ahmet Orken (Tur) Turkish national team
9 Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Frantisek Sisr (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:00:02