Sam Bennett continues to dominate the bunch sprints of the 2019 BinckBank Tour. Following his victory in the first stage the Irish sprinter romped home to his second win in a row in Ardooie. Bennett also strengthened his grip on the green BinckBank leader's jersey.
For the fourth year in a row the stage went from Blankenberge to Ardooie. It was the 12th time the town in the west of Flanders hosted a stage finish. In the past Mark Renshaw and Jasper Stuyven both managed to avoid a bunch sprint to take the win on a flat stage made for sprinters. That inspired six riders to go in the early breakaway: Baptiste Planckaert, Thomas Sprengers, Robert Stannard, Josef Cerny, Jesper Asselman and Damien Gaudin escaped right before the Super 8 Checkpoint Sprint with Planckaert increasing his lead in the Super 8 Checkpoint classification.
The six attackers gathered a maximum advantage of almost three minutes before the sprinters' teams started reeling them back in. The efforts of Bora-Hansgrohe, Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-Quick Step made clear that the breakaway was doomed to fail. Team Sunweb then went on the offensive with 15k to go and a swift attack by Zdenek Styber ensured the breakaway was caught with five kilometres to go.
It was up to the sprinters to fight it out for the stage win. In the final straight Jasper Philipsen took the initiative from far back, making it easy for yesterday's winner Sam Bennett to steamroll past the Belgian and take his second consecutive stage win. Dylan Groenewegen was third. Bennett increased his lead in the standings thanks to the bonification seconds at the finish. On Wednesday he will defend a lead of 12 seconds on Lukasz Wisniowski and 13 on Josef Cerny.