Mitchelton-SCOTT through safely on wet opening stage of BinckBank Tour

Mon 12 Aug 2019

Despite being involved in a crash that momentarily split the bunch, a wet stage one of the BinckBank Tour resulted in the expected bunch sprint, with the Mitchelton-SCOTT team navigating the dangerous day without any major issues. 

Neo-pro Robert Stannard was the team’s top placed finisher as Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed the messy final sprint. 

About the weather not the profile:
The stage profile gave very little to suggest anything other than a sprint was forthcoming, but it was always going to be about the weather and with rain and wind on the cards it was not straightforward. 

A crash with a little over 50km remaining split the bunch, that had previously sat comfortably around three minutes behind a breakaway of four.

Mitchelton-SCOTT were caught up in the incident and as a result missed out on the first group as it split apart whilst riders gather their bikes and collective thoughts, but a grouping had proceedings back on track.

Final laps:
With two laps and just under 40km to go, the leading quartet of Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC ProTeam), Aaron Verwilst (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Lars Bak (Dimension Data) held an advantage of just over one minute. A lap later and very little had changed.

The sprint teams took responsibility on the front of the chasing bunch and with three kilometres to go, the race was back together for the expected bunch sprint. 

Wet roads and corners into the final kilometre stretched out the bunch and made, for a messy sprint, but Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett best manoeuvred the chaos for the first stage victory.

Robert Stannard:
“It was a hectic stage to start the race, with technical roads including cobbles and bad weather. The race split up during the cobbled sectors and there was a little bit of panic for the next 10km but besides that the race went as could be expected finishing with a bunch sprint.

“In the final, it was pretty messy much like the rest of the day with a lot of corners in the last few kilometres.”

BinckBank Tour – Stage 1 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:37:15
2. Edward Theuns (Trek Segafredo) ST
3. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) ST
41. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

BinckBank Tour – General Classification after stage 1:
1. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:37:05
2. Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC Pro Team) +0:02
3. Lars Bak Ytting (Dimension Data) +0:03
43. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:10

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.