Sam Bennett has not had an easy start with Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale but has come close to his first victory in French colours at the Tour de la Provence. The Irishman showed himself in the final day of the race, but was disappointed to come home with a very tight second place.
A 9th spot in the overall classification is noteworthy, but Bennett searched his maiden win with his new team. He came close with a third spot in the prologue, but it were the sprints he aimed for. Stage 1 did not go his way. On stage 3 he was part of the action in the crosswinds and was close to victory in the final sprint, but was narrowly beaten by Tom van Asbroeck.
"It’s gravel but it’s nothing special" - Remco Evenepoel shrugs off pressure from Tour de France's gravel stage
"I am proud of the behavior of the guys. Pierre [Gautherat] took me very well. I am just disappointed that I did not manage to finish the job," he told Cyclism'Actu in the scene. "I felt that victory was ours today and I'm super disappointed for the team not to come away with the victory."
Bennett looked to remove pressure off his shoulders and make an impact right from the get go with his new team and leadout, but this will have to wait. "Now on to the UAE Tour. It would have been nice to get the victory today to take some pressure off," he concluded.