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Bennett pipped in Poitiers but...
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Bennett pipped in Poitiers but Sagan shoulder cements green jersey

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17:21 9 Sep 2020

Sam Bennett was narrowly denied back-to-back stage victories on the Tour de France, missing out in a photo finish in Poitiers. 

However, an illegal shoulder from Peter Sagan close to the finish has seen Bennett open up a 68-point lead in the race for the green jersey.

The Deceuninck Quick-Step sprinter had reclaimed green with victory on stage 10, and was looking to garnish that win with some Carrick-on-Suir tradition.

It was Poitiers in 1978 where Sean Kelly won his first Tour stage.

Bennett got the better of Peter Sagan (Team INEOS) at Wednesday's intermediate sprint, extending his points advantage to 25.

As the peloton entered the final kilometre, things were set up perfectly for the sprinters to vie once again for stage supremacy.

As the main contenders - Bennett, Sagan, Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto–Soudal) - spread the width of the road, Bennett looked and looked and opted to stay on the wheel of Van Aert.

To his left, Ewan was jockeying for position while Sagan to his right got physical with Van Aert, barging the Belgian as they descended upon the line.

In the end it took a photo finish to decide the winner, but Ewan's last throw of the bicycle saw him take the stage win with Sagan second and Bennett in third.

While Ewan and Bennett exchanged respect-filled fist-bumps, Sagan and Van Aert threw shapes at one another in disgust.

Sagan was eventually disqualified for his actions, giving Bennett a huge green jersey lead.

Speaking prior to the stage, Ewan felt stage 11 was custom-made for him to pick up a stage victory, but afterwards he admitted he had to battle through a "very very hectic" scene.

"I dropped back into the bunch a little bit," he told France TV Sport, "From then it was quite crazy.

"I knew from the first stage I won, that yeah - just keep calm, and then just wait for the right time, and right gap to open. And it did in the end.

"I just had a real desire to win today after yesterday. I was quite disappointed with my sprint, so I was happy to repay my teammates with the win."

Primoz Roglic retains the overall leader's yellow jersey, with a 21-second lead over Egan Bernal.

Dan Martin (Team Israel Nation Start-Up) is 64th on general classification, and Nicolas Roche is 75th.

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Read more about

Caleb Ewan Cycling Dan Martin Nicolas Roche Peter Sagan Sam Bennett Sean Kelly Tour Tour De France Wout Van Aert

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