Sam Bennett says he’s not worried about Wout van Aert in the green jersey competition, unless he wins another stage.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step’s sprinter Bennett spent the first week of the race chasing his first Tour de France stage victory and points in the sprinter’s classification, which saw him wear green for two days.
Bennett’s biggest challenge in the points classification has come from Peter Sagan (Bora-Hangsrohe), the seven-time winner of the competition who currently holds the lead, but the Bennett is aware of the potential threat posed Van Aert.
The Jumbo-Visma all-rounder has taken two sprint victories in the race so far and is currently third in the points classification, but he is not currently targeting the green jersey as he is instead working to support his team-mate Primož Roglič in the general classification battle.
Bennett said he is not yet worried about a challenge from Van Aert, unless a third stage victory brings the Belgian a step closer to wearing green in Paris.
Speaking during the first rest day of the Tour, Bennett said: “It's early days, he's won two stages and he is is definitely capable winning another.
“That team could find themselves out of the yellow jersey in one or two stages - not saying it will happen but it can happen and it does happen quite often in the Tour - so then you could see him changing his approach to each stage and maybe going for his own goals. At the moment, it doesn't look like he has any interest.
“At the moment I'm not too worried, but if he gets another stage then I will be.”
Sagan currently leads the points classification on 138 points, with Bennett close behind on 131.
After his two stage victories, Van Aert is third on 111 points with the potential for another 50 points on offer if he can take another stage.
But currently Van Aert is committed to working for his team, not contesting the intermediate sprints and sticking at the front late into the mountain stages.
Bennett has not yet achieved his main target for this year’s Tour, sprint victory on one of the rare opportunities in the 2020 edition.
He came within inches of the win on stage three from Nice to Sisteron when Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) weaved his way through to take an almost impossible win, while Bennett then finished third on the road from Gap to Privas.
Bennett added: “I've come here to try and get a stage. Even the day I got the green...I was really happy to get green, but we didn't win the stage and then we lost yellow, so it's been mixed feelings. I'm still dreaming about that stage win.
“I haven't completed anything I came here to do. So, the pressure is still on.”
The battle between the sprinters is expected to continue the day after the rest day on stage 10, with a 168.5km pan-flat day from île d'Oléron to île de Ré.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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