The first WorldTour stage race of the year kicked off in fine style with victory for Sam Bennett and his oh-so-slick Deceuninck-Quickstep team. The Irish champion pipped Jasper Philippsen (UAE Team-Emirates) with Erik Baska (BORA-hansgrohe) rounding out the podium.
Stage 1: Tanuda to Tanuda, 150km
What better way to start your career at a new team than to gift wrap a victory and the leader’s jersey – not to mention sprinter’s bragging rights in a fiercely contested finished. Deceuninck-Quickstep delivered Sam Bennett in the style to which we have become accustomed. Iljo Keisse took them into the last kilometre, handing over to Shane Archbold (I’m SO GLAD he went to the team with Sammy B!) who put in a long fast turn before Michael Morkov delivered his sprinter right on the money. The sprinter at the end may have changed but the result is still the same. Bennett didn’t have it all his own way as UAE’s young Belgian fastman, Philippsen battled hard.
I think the team had more confidence in me than I did in myself. Today, the way they rode for me was absolutely amazing, and I just think that gives me confidence as well, seeing how much effort they put into this result, and it’s just great to have this.
Here’s your top ten, and a tweet from Journal Velo that started my day with a giggle. Bravo to Gabriel Cullaigh, another rider off to great start with his new Movistar team.
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