CYCLING: Ireland’s Bennett owns BinckBank Tour after two stages

Two straight wins for Ireland's Sam Bennett to open the 2019 BinckBank Tour!

We’re in the waiting period before the last of the Grand Tours – the Vuelta a Espana – gets started on 24 August and this week’s racing on the men’s World Tour is the sprinter’s special, the 15th edition of the BinckBank Tour in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The first two stages have been flat, with Ireland’s Sam Bennett winning both in mass finishes. He now leads the race by just 12 seconds, with 122 other riders within 20 seconds! The third stage is also made for the sprinters, with hillier terrain planned for stages four and seven.

The race has five prior medal winners in the field:

● Lars Boom (NED) ~ Winner in 2012
● Tim Wellens (BEL) ~ Winner in 2014-15; third in 2018
● Zdenek Stybar (CZE) ~ Winner in 2013
● Greg van Avermaet (BEL) ~ Second in 2015
● Philippe Gilbert (BEL) ~ Second in 2011

With so many flat stages and a Time Trial in the sixth stage, other sprinters to look for include Dylan Groenewegen (NED), Arnaud Demare (FRA) and Mike Teunissen (NED) among others.

The race will finish for the third straight year in Geraardsbergen in Belgium. Look for results here.