Ireland’s Sam Bennett completed a hat-trick of victories after a photo finish to stage three of the BinckBank Tour in Aalter.
In a bunch sprint at the end of the 166.9-kilometre stage, Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) edged out Holland’s Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) by the thickness of a tyre – despite suffering a problem with his bike caused by a crash at the final corner.
The 28-year-old now has a 20-second lead over Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) and Groenewegen at the top of the general classification after Philipsen crossed the line in third.
“I think somebody touched my bike in the last corner and they broke it a little,” Bennett said in an interview on the tour’s official Twitter feed.
“The gears were jumping like mad so I couldn’t throw the bike around, I was just trying to keep myself solid. I couldn’t get the power down and I got a run at Philipsen and if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would have got it.
“I was really lucky today, I tried to make the bike as long as possible in the final (metres) and that was enough to get it today so I’m really happy with that.”
Thursday’s fourth stage is 96.2km and starts and finishes in Houffalize.