Tour de Wallonie
Stage 1) Soignies – Tournai (Templeuve)
Bennett pipped on the line in Wallonie opener
Sam Bennett came very close to adding a fourth win to his 2020 tally, on a wet day in Belgium, which took the peloton from Soignies to Tournai, over 187 mainly flat kilometers, featuring just a few rolling sections and cobblestone stretches, that failed to leave an impact on the race.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who came at the start with many of the riders that took part just twenty-four hours earlier in Dwars door het Hageland, did a superb job in controlling the five-man breakaway, whose advantage hit a maximum of three minutes, and made sure of overhauling them before entering on the final local lap.
Piloted by Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv, Sam Bennett moved through the pack to the center of the road and opened his sprint with 100 meters to go, only to finish second to Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) by a hair’s breadth: “The guys were fantastic the whole day and did a great job. I am really sorry I couldn’t finish it off for them, but the legs were a bit tired and I found myself in the wind when it came to launching my sprint. In the end, the difference was of mere centimeters and I think it’s a promising result for the coming week.”
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images