Sam Bennett has increased his lead to 55 points in the race for the green jersey after today's stage on the Tour de France.
The Carrick-on-Suir rider finished eight on the stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole as he spent his day marking Peter Sagan and Matteo Trentin, his main rivals in the points classification.
Bennett finished ahead of his two principal challengers at both the intermediate sprint and then outsprinted each at the finish line in Champagnole to increase his lead by three points on the day.
A sprint finish in a fight for points! 🔥
D'éirigh le Sam Bennett an ceann is fearr a fháil ar Peter Sagan arís chun tuilleadh pointí a bhailliú 💚
SB: 10 points
PS: 8 points#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/LlbA42VuzM
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) September 18, 2020
With just two stages of Le Tour remaining, the Deceuninck Quick-Step sprinter holds an almost unassailable lead on 319 points. Sagan is second on 264 and Trentin sits on 250.
Saturday's stage is a grueling individual time trial that could see big changes in the general classification but has little bearing in the fight for green.
Then Sunday is the ceremonial final day on the Champs-Elysees where Bennett could clinch the green jersey as he is among the favourites for stage victory on the day.
Sagan or Trentin would have to win the intermediate sprint on Sunday, worth 20 points and then the stage itself, worth 50 if they were to have any chance of closing the gap on Bennett. Even at that, Bennett could still clinch the jersey with solid placings at each contest.
Friday's stage was won by Søren Kragh Andersen of Team Sunweb.
The Dane launched a stunning solo attack with around 20 km to go, building a solid time gap and holding on for his second stage victory of this year's tour.
Primoz Roglic retains the overall leader's yellow jersey, and keeps his 57-second lead over his fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.