”I thought I’d be in floods of tears but I’m in shock,“ Bennett said at the finish before quickly bursting into tears.
The 29-year-old won three stages at the 2018 Giro but his team at the time, Bora-Hansgrohe, did not select him for the Tour in either 2018 nor 2019. They didn’t want to complicate things for their superstar, Peter Sagan. And so the Irishman looked for another team and signed for Deceuninck-Quick-Step for 2020. The Tour de France was his main goal and now he won stage 10. And in the process, he reclaimed the Škoda Green Jersey from the hands of none other than Peter Sagan.
“You wait so many years for this to happen and then to get this opportunity. It took a while for it to really sink in. It’s just a relief when so many great sprinters have passed through this team and delivered.
“I needed this, to come to the Tour de France and deliver for this team after Deceuninck and Patrick gave me this amazing opportunity I really wanted to deliver for them, and my teammates who were perfect today. I want to thank everybody, the mechanics, the soigneurs…”
The emotional win brought him a lot of points and Sam Bennett will now don the Green again. Will he want to keep it till the end of the Tour?
“I don’t know, I always say my three dream wins would be San Remo, Champs-Élysées, and World Champs, they would be my three favourite races to try and win but I never really thought about the green until I was wearing it and it’s something special to wear it,” Bennett admitted.
“I think, for this year, I’d give up Champs… oh jeez, actually, I don’t know!” he exclaimed. “Look, whatever comes my way, I’ll be happy to take.”
We shall see on the Champs-Élysées.