TDF Stage 10: Win for Bennett

Sam Bennett adds a Tour de France stage win to the ones from the Giro and Vuelta and is now in Green again after a crash affected stage; Primoz Roglic leads overall

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TDF Stage 10: Win for Bennett

Sam Bennett of Deceuninck-Quick Step won stage 10 in a bunch gallop on the scenic Ré island that hosted the Tour de France for the first time. Also coming from an island, the Irishman found himself at ease to use the elements including the three-quarter head wind to fend off Caleb Ewan, the fast man from the island-continent of Australia.

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Bagging his first Tour de France win after imposing himself at the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta, he also took over the green jersey from Peter Sagan who crossed the line in third place while Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey.

There were 165 riders who took to the start of stage 10 at Île d’Oléron after Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT) chose to call it a race as he was in pain since his crash on stage 1. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC) attacked from the gun, before the bridge to reach the continent.

They managed to open up a maximum advantage of two minutes along the Palmyre beach at km 33. The peloton led by Lotto-Soudal and Deceuninck-Quick Step sped up as top teams feared echelons. The Swiss duo got reeled in at km 69 while a crash occurred in the middle of the pack. Everyone got back on, except for Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott) who was forced to abandon.

Another crash affected some top contenders in Rochefort, km 103, as Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), third and seventh overall, went down. They got back to the peloton after a hard chase while Deceuninck-Quick Step, Ineos-Grenadier and EF kept the race under control. Matteo Trentin (CCC) outsprinted Peter Sagan and Sam Bennett on the line of the intermediate sprint at Châtelaillon-Plage with 39km to go.

Jumbo-Visma and Ineos-Grenadier put the hammer down with 18km to go. The bunch got split into three pieces and a crash affected Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Küng attacked again over the bridge to Ré island. It was all together with 10km to go with Jumbo-Visma keeping the situation under control.

Team Sunweb gave Cees Bol an excellent lead out but the pure sprinters made the best of it. Preceding Ewan on the line, Bennett became the sixth Irishman to win a stage at the Tour de France after Seamus Elliott (1963), Sean Kelly (1978, 1980, 1981 and 1982), Stephen Roche (1985, 1987 and 1992), Martin Earley (1989) and Dan Martin (2013 and 2018).

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Sam Bennett: “I don’t think it has hit me yet, I still can’t believe I’m a Tour de France stage winner. I want to thank to the whole team for their confidence and support, to Patrick for giving me this opportunity, to my wife, my family and everyone around me. You dream of it and you never think it will happen, but then it does and you just need a while to sink in. I waited so many years for this to happen and I am so relieved and happy now”, said the first reigning Irish Champion to win a Tour de France stage after scoring Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 777th victory since 2003, when the team was created.

“Being part of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team is a huge opportunity for me and I wanted to deliver at the Tour de France, where so many great sprinters won for the Wolfpack. I can’t thank all the guys – my teammates, the mechanics, the soigneurs, the sports directors – enough, their help in achieving this was huge.”

“The team was incredible today, Michael was so calm and smooth going into the last kilometer, and I left it as late as possible knowing it was a headwind there. Everything was perfect today and this victory gives me a lot of confidence”, continued Sam, just the second Irish rider in history with stage victories in all Grand Tours, before talking of his green jersey ambitions. “It’s special to wear it. Sean Kelly won it and it would make me super proud to be on the podium in Paris, but we’ll take it day by day and see where that takes us. What I can tell you for certain is that being here in the Irish Champion jersey and winning today is something I will always remember.”

Primoz Roglic: “It was a quite nervous and stressful stage, from the start all the way to the finish. As a team, we managed it really well. My teammates did a great job and we can be happy we avoided crashes. Staying healthy and in one piece is key on a grand tour. Hence it is very important to always be well positioned in the bunch, in order to avoid trouble and contend for the race. The level of Slovenian cycling is crazy right now, especially for us. As if every single one of the 2 million people living in our country were top athletes! Slovenia has always been present in the international peloton, but never got the kind of results Tadej and I are delivering. I’m proud to be writing history for Slovenian cycling.”

“The team has once again done a perfect job”, Primoz Roglic said. “We can be proud of our performance so far and of the way we raced. I cannot thank my teammates enough for getting me through this stage in one piece. I am wearing the yellow jersey, but it really belongs to the whole team. It was a tough stage: very nervous, fast and at times dangerous too. We had hoped for an easier day, but the race was full on from the start and it never stopped. We are already looking forward to the upcoming days. I will wear the yellow jersey with pride.”

Wout van Aert concurred with his leader’s story. “It was certainly a stressful day. It took a lot of energy. The most important thing was to get Primoz to the finish unscathed and we managed to do so. It is a pity that the wind was not perfect for crosswinds. We raced in the front all day and we were where we needed to be. It was a matter of continuously paying attention. The team managed that pretty well again. Everyone gave themselves one hundred percent. It is nice to see that we all go through the fire for each other.”

Caleb Ewan: I lost my main leadout man to a mechanical, so I then I knew I had to get through the bunch myself. i had a few big guys with me to get me out of trouble if I needed it but I think I am quite good at going through the bunch by myself. I followed Bennett most of the day but obviously there was a lot of fighting for his wheel because he had a good lead out there. In the end I had the wheel that I wanted. I was axactly where I wanted to be. Obviously I had to fight a little more than I wanted to. When I was on his wheel, I felt good but if I look back at the sprint, I should have gone a bit earlier and try and surprise him. I waited a bit too long and did not have enough room to come around him”

Andre Greipel: Today I felt like a normal bike rider again. I knew I was feeling better so I really wanted to go for the sprint today. It was a hard day to keep up the front the whole time and the team did a really good job to supply me with water and to keep me in position. Unfortunately I was a bit far back when the sprint started so I had to stay on the wheels and at the end I was happy just to be there in a sprint again. I am looking forward to the next one. I take it step by step. I had a really hard nine stages before today so the sprint today was a small light at the end of the tunnel.”

Egan Bernal: “It’s been a very stressful day. All the teams had been warned that it could be windy. On this terrain, only a little bit more wind could have make the race explode. Eventually we have saved the day. I’m happy the team kept me at the front all the time.”

Cees Bol: “It was super fast in the last 25 kilometres,” explained from Bol at the finish. “The guys did a really good job and we were always in the front, and I was really well protected so it wasn’t too crazy for me. We then went through the wind and went to the left side of the road, but then the wind came from the right, so I was exposed to it. In the last kilometre I was always in the wind and had to fight for a wheel, it was just a mistake from us. The conditions are what they are, I still believe we can do it into a headwind; today the mistake was made in the side wind part. We still have more chances at this race.”

Stefan Küng: “I didn’t plan to go in the breakaway today. But Michael Schär sent me a text message this morning inviting me to give it a try together. And, since today it was nervous stage and we didn’t have any GC guy nor chance in the sprint, I told myself… Why not? The stage might be more relaxed on the front, and maybe we built a gap big enough to fight for the stage… But it turned out to be a very fast stage and we got caught pretty early. I know Miki well. We are very good friends, so it was a pleasure to ride along with him at the front of the race. But, you know, we would have loved to stay a bit longer at the head of the race. To be honest, I only attacked on the bridge to make sure I was getting the Combativity prize and the red number!”

Benoît Cosnefroy: “We still had to reach the finish and protect Romain Bardet. It was my role today and it went well even though it was very nervous. I’m just happy to not have crashed. Some riders will not sleep well tonight. I didn’t feel concerned by today’s battle but it felt good to ride on the flat again.”

Luka Mezgec: “I think this was the first proper Tour stage, A lot of crowds on the roads and it was stressful from the beginning, so many traffic islands and road furniture, so you had to fight for position all day. We unfortunately lost Sam in one of the crashes.

“The important point was just before the bridge, to be in front and I think as a team we managed this really good, we were all in the front and then after that when the roads turned into a headwind it was actually pretty relaxed again.

“With 4km to go we started to go for the sprint, Daryl brought me into the bubble, the top-20, and just before 2km to go Jack brought me up the left side towards the front. I was in a good position behind Caleb [Ewan] with 500 to go when the bunch went really close to the barrier and then Sagan just put me in the barrier, I had to brake, I lost speed, lost 10 positions and that was it.”

Elia Viviani (4th of the stage: “I’m not happy of course because I can’t be satisfied with a 4th place. I’m here to fight for the victory. Obviously, it’s nice to come back to the level of the best sprinters in the world. It was not an easy day but Simone (Consonni) did an important job to protect me until the end. You have to live a perfect stage to win it and today, the strongest it was Sam Bennett. ”

Guillaume Martin (3rd overall): “From the start, the race went pretty well every day. Today, it was more difficult with this fall in the middle of the race and the wind which bothered us. not to waste time, that’s the main thing, I was well supervised by the whole team who waited for me and in particular Pierre-Luc and Christophe in the final.

My back hurts a bit, the head has hit so it must have packed the vertebrae a bit. It was a little difficult to raise at the end but I don’t think there is anything too bad for the rest. The main thing is not to have wasted time. Hope to have a little quieter day and be able to recover. ”

Tadej Pogacar “It was really aggressive from the start today. The team stayed near the front all day, and kept me out of trouble as much as possible. When we hit the crosswinds we were pulling on the front.”When I crashed guys waited and got me back on .”

Nairo Quintana: “It was a very nervous stage, taking narrow and windy roads, also with many roundabouts. It has not been an easy day. We were focused throughout the race. I also suffered a fall but not serious. I finished with the first group in front, and above all I didn’t waste any time, which is the most important. The legs are good ”

Warren Barguil: “I fell while passing through a village thirty kilometers from the finish line. I brake well, but I get hit from behind by another competitor, it jams my handlebars and I slide on the ground. I have some skin ripped off on my elbow and knee. It’s a shame because I’m an important element in favor of Nairo on these type of windy stages, and I really would have liked to be able to accompany him in the leading group, to which he belonged, to the finish line. ”

Charly Wegelius, Sport Director: “To be honest, it was what we expected. You have a route like that in a race like this, and there’s going to be collateral damage. Hugh had a crash early on and Neilson was involved in a crash, but both of them got back in the race and we’re going to see how they are. Hopefully nothing will compromise them going forward. They both fought really hard to come back and the other guys were absolutely exemplary. We executed pretty much everything that we hoped to and we came away with the result that we wanted, which was no time loss.

Dani Martínez, rider: “It’s definitely not the first complicated stage for me; last week there were some bad ones when I fell. This morning we all talked and the plan was to help and protect Rigo, we knew there was the potential for wind at certain points on the course that were going to be dangerous so my work for the day was to help make sure we were up at the front.

“I’m feeling a lot better after the crashes, there were a few difficult days after, but I’m starting to feel OK again. Going forward we’ll see about maybe going for stage wins but we can all see that the level here is really high and firstly we need to make sure we help support Rigo and make sure we don’t lose any time on the GC.”

Stage 10
1. Sam Bennett Deceuninck-Quick Step 03:35:22
2. Caleb Ewan Lotto Soudal
3. Peter Sagan Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Elia Viviani Cofidis
5. Mads Pedersen Trek-Segafredo
6. André Greipel Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Bryan Coquard B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
8. Cees Bol Team Sunweb
9. Jasper Stuyven Trek-Segafredo
10. Luka Mezgec Mitchelton-Scott

25. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates
31. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic
32. Primoz Roglic Leader jersey Team Jumbo – Visma
33. Rigoberto Uran EF Pro Cycling
34. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
36. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren
37. Wout Van Aert Team Jumbo – Visma
39. Egan Bernal Youth jersey INEOS Grenadiers
42. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team
44. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott
47. Guillaume Martin Cofidis all same time
68. Luke Rowe INEOS Grenadiers @ 26
75. Jack Bauer Mitchelton-Scott @ 46
104. Connor Swift Team Arkea-Samsic @ 05:25
130. Daniel Martin Israel Start-Up Nation @ 05:25
162. Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling @ 12:15

1. Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma 42:15:23
2. Egan Bernal INEOS Grenadiers @ 21
3. Guillaume Martin Cofidis @ 28
4. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale @ 30
5. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic @ 32
6. Rigoberto Uran EF Pro Cycling @ 32
7. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 44
8. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 01:02
9. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team @ 01:15
10. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren @ 01:42
11. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo @ 01:53
12. Enric Mas Movistar Team @ 02:02
13. Bauke Mollema Trek-Segafredo @ 02:31
14. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma @ 03:22
15. Richard Carapaz INEOS Grenadiers @ 03:42
16. Damiano Caruso Bahrain-McLaren @ 03:42
17. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team @ 03:43
18. Sergio Higuita EF Pro Cycling @ 06:08
19. Emanuel Buchmann Bora-Hansgrohe @ 11:10
20. Esteban Chaves Mitchelton-Scott @ 12:13

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