• Sam Bennett (R) wins stage 3 of the BinckBank Tour by a whisker. (Getty)Source: Getty
When Sam Bennett is on a tear it's a sight to behold with the BORA-hansgrohe sprinter currently doing all the damage at the BinckBank Tour with a three from three record so far.
Cycling Central
15 Aug 2019 - 9:58 AM  UPDATED 15 Aug 2019 - 11:25 AM

Again on Stage 3 at the Belgian race, he found a way to win, courtesy of a photo finish, placing him ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) at the end of the 166.9km stage held in Aalter.

“At first, I was not sure if I had actually taken the win or not. It was a very close finish," Bennett said. "It came down to a very chaotic finale.

"I’m really happy to have done the hattrick here, and I’m incredibly proud to represent Ireland with the national champion’s kit as well.

"It took a fair bit of energy to stay up the front in the race today and keep myself out of difficulties, and so it’s fantastic to be able to have taken three wins in a row.”

As his team noted, the Irish champion becomes the first rider to earn a consecutive hattrick of stage wins at the BinckBank Tour (previously known as the Eneco Tour) - a race with a mixed history.

After today’s performance, he was also able to extend his GC lead to 20 seconds ahead of Philipsen and Groenewegen as well as his lead the points classification.

He's been seemingly an afterthought for the BORA-hansgrohe crew for the past 12 months, consistently missing selection for the biggest of races like the Tour de France and receiving the table scraps but they would have to respect his attitude and wins in the face of this personal adversity.

Of course, BORA-hansgrohe's real problem is an embarrassment of riches, not Bennett. What's a team to do when it also has prolific winners like Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann in its ranks?

Sagan has seven Tour de France green jerseys hanging in the pool room and it's worth remembering that Ackermann won the points classification at the Giro d'Italia including two stages - plus another handful of races.

Bennett is a closer in a team full of closers so it was always going to be tough with those two in front of him. But instead of sulking The Irishman has not only shown speed in winning 10 races this year but maturity in getting on with the job when he's given the chance - we could all learn from that.

None of this has gone unnoticed by fans of the sport and it seems his efforts have been recognised elsewhere, with the WorldTour rumour mill suggesting a transfer to classics powerhouse Deceuninck-Quick Step to replace Italian sprinter Elia Viviani who is heading to a rebuilding Cofidis.

If the move does happen Bennett should finally have the kind of support he has not received at BORA-hansgrohe, one which could see him at the start line for the 2020 Tour de France. If so, he'll have earned it.