Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the opening stage of the BinckBank Tour in Hulst today.
The 28-year-old beat Edward Teuns and Mike Teunissen into second and third respectively in the 167.2km stage, which started in Beveren.
Fourth place went to Jasper Philipsen, with Phil Bauhaus fifth.
“I’m really happy to get my first win in the Irish champion’s jersey here,” said Bennett.
“It was a bit dangerous today with the rain, and I skidded a couple of times, but everything ended up ok.
“The guys put me in a good position in the finale, and I tried to keep this position over the last two kilometers.”
Bennett said he then moved behind one of the sprint trains and launched his sprint at the right moment.
“I have a special connection with Belgium and I am particularly happy about this win because it is always difficult to win at this race.”
Bennett leads the overall standings, with Lukasz Wisniowski second and Lars Bak third.
View more results below.
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:37:15
2. Edward Teuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
5. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
6. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
8. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Ineos)
9. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
10. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:37:05
2. Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) CCC Team +0:00:02
3. Lars Bak (Den) Dimension Data +0:00:03
4. Edward Teuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo +0:00:04
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma +0:00:06
6. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxells +0:00:07
7. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates +0:00:10
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
9. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
18. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
21. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
87. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin