The stage looked set for a more straightforward duel between the top sprinters present at the race, but a crash on the sharp, uphill right-hand bend that led into the final kilometre, where both Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama-FDJ) crashed, saw the race change significantly.
Bennett was well-positioned ahead of the crash and he had both the strength and the quickness of thought to take advantage of the confusion behind. The Irish national champion attacked clear of the peloton and opened a decisive gap over the rest of the sprinters, soloing down the slight downhill to the finish line to take a dominant win.
"It was longer than I remembered and it was really hard, but I was really happy to take that win," said Bennett. "I really needed it.
"It was the last chance to win here. I really needed it and I did everything I could. Coming into the final corner, I was up there.
"I had look a look around after the crash to see who was there, and everybody had sort of paused so I decided to go."
The 163-kilometre, mostly flat stage was animated by an early break of six riders that starred three members of the Kometa Xstra team. Riccardo Verza, Alejandro Ropero and Diego Sevilla were joined in the move by Willie Smit (Burgos-BH), Txomin Juaristi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Damiano Cima (Gazprom-Rusvelo), and the group managed to push their lead out to a maximum advantage of 4 minutes.
Groupama-FDJ lead the way in the chasing down the break during the stage, but in the end, star sprinter Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) was held up behind his crashed teammate Guarnieri, and could only rejoin to battle home for second on the stage.