Sam Bennett crossed the line in third place at the end of stage 11 in Poitiers this afternoon before being promoted to the runner-up position by officials.
The Carrick-On-Suir man, who won his first Tour de France stage yesterday, was bidding to become the first Irish cyclist to win consecutive stages in the world’s most famous cycle race, and was hoping to emulate his fellow ‘Carrick’ man, Seán Kelly, who the first of his five Tour de France stages in Poitiers in 1978.
Wednesday’s 167.5 kilometres stage from Châtelaillon-Plage went to Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who was taking his second stage in this year’s event, with Peter Sagan second across the line and Bennett third.
When officials reviewed the race finish, Sagan was deemed to have shoved Jumbo-Visma sprinter Wout van Aert in the closing metres and was relegated to 85th place, last in the finishing bunch sprint.
This meant Bennett was promoted to second, earning him more green jersey points, to add to the points he claimed earlier in the day when taking second behind breakaway leader Matthieu Ladagnous at the intermediate sprint.
“I don’t really know what happened it was so hectic,” admitted Bennett. “It (the final sprint) was hard to make the switch from following my teammate to going alone. I found myself too far forward too early and then I was trying to drift back and it was a bit late to drift back. Then they came at speed – it was just a complete mess. I just tried to limit my losses and get the best result I could.”
The Irish rider is now on 234 points, 68 points ahead of seven-time points’ classification winner Sagan on 175, with Frenchman Bryan Coquard third on 157.
Race leader Primoz Roglic from Slovenia maintains his lead over the defending Tour champion Egan Bernal.
Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche finished in 133rd and 138th respectively on today’s stage, with Martin maintaining his position as the leading Irish rider in this year’s race. The Israel Start-Up Nation rider is 64th on the general classification, with Roche 75th and Tuesday’s stage winner Bennett 139th, almost two-and-a-half hours behind the yellow jersey wearer.
Stage 11 result
- Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 4hrs 00mins 01secs
- Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) same time.
- Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) same time.
General classification after stage 11
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 46hrs 15mins 24secs.
- Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) + 21secs.
- Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) + 28secs.