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Sam Bennett keeps field at bay to win first one-day World Tour event


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Sam Bennett claimed his first ever victory in a one-day World Tour event on Wednesday. 

The green jersey-winner on last year's Tour de France won the Classic Brugge-De Panne in Belgium.

Bennett (Deceuninck Quick-Step) held off the challenge of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin–Fenix) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora–Hansgrohe) to take the line.

It was Bennett's fifth sprint victory of 2021, following earlier successes on the UAE Tour and the Paris-Nice.

"For me, it’s super important to get this win," Bennett said afterwards, "Especially being in a Belgian team with Belgian sponsors. We’re on home soil and we wanted to perform.

"For myself personally, it’s my first one-day WorldTour win. It’s something I’ve been chasing for many years and I’m very happy to get it here today.

"He [Philipsen] jumped early but I could feel a bit of a headwind so I decided to wait longer and then go. I don’t focus on anyone else, I just do my own sprint."

Bennett conceded he wasn't entirely comfortable with the layout of the finish, telling reporters, "I was a little bit nervous, there was too many yellow poles and brick walls and footsteps coming up for a bunch sprint like that.

"It's an important race and everyone wants to be there. You have a lot of riders under pressure and we all want to get a result - you don't need that in the final.

"It was a good day and a great race today."

Elsewhere, Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) won the third stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

The British rider holds a 45-second lead over Richie Porte at the top of the general classification.

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