Ireland's Sam Bennett in the green after maiden Tour de France win
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Saint-Martin-de-Ré (France) (AFP)
Irishman Sam Bennett was left in tears after sprinting away to claim a maiden stage win on the Tour de France on Tuesday after an Atlantic coast run from Oleron to the island of Saint-Martin-de-Re.
The Deceuninck team rider's stage 10 victory, on his Tour debut, ensured he reclaimed the sprint points green jersey and followed a dramatic start to the day as Tour director Christian Prudhomme tested positive for Covid-19.
Wearing his Irish champion's tunic Bennett narrowly edged Australia's Caleb Ewan while peloton superstar Peter Sagan came third to cede the green jersey.
Ewan quickly rode alongside the winner to fist bump in a rare show of empathy between sprinters.
Surrounded by his teammates Bennett watched a replay before clenching his first and cheering.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," Bennett said at the finish line before bursting into tears and thanking his team and his family.
"I don't want to be a cry baby," said the powerfully built Belgian-born sprinter.
Jumbo's Slovenian leader Primoz Roglic holds on to the overall lead with Colombia's defending champion Egan Bernal in second place in the general classification, 21 seconds adrift.
The spectacular run between the two Atlantic Islands, both of which are connected to the French mainland by road bridges, was largely free of the cross-winds that could have blown the race wide open.
© 2020 AFP