Ireland’s Sam Bennett continued his impressive record at the Presidential Tour of Turkey by winning the opening stage in Tekirdağ.
The Bora-Hansgrohe sprinter had won three stages of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour race last year.
He was expected to feature at the front of the race again today with a 160 kilometres flat stage from Istanbul to Tekirdağ likely to conclude in a sprint finish.
The pre-stage predictions ultimately proved accurate as an early breakaway were caught by the peloton in the final 10km as the sprint drew near.
Bennett emerged as the fastest finisher as the Irish rider crossed the line in a winning time of 3 hours 32min 34 sec.
Bennett had been challenged by Denmark’s Fabio Jakobsen and Australia’s Caleb Ewan.
They completed the top three on the stage on the same time as the winner.
Bennett has now won eight stages of the Tour of Turkey in three years and took the first leader’s jersey of the race.
He will hope for further success tomorrow with another sprinter’s stage expected.
The peloton are due to tackle a 183km route from Tekirdağ to Eceabat tomorrow.