Ireland's Sam Bennett has claimed the opening stage of the 2019 Tour of Turkey, after edging out a sprint finish against Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen in the final 100m.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider has enjoyed much success at this event having won three stages in last year's edition of the race, and he excelled again over the 156.7km flat stage from Istanbul to Tekirdag this year.

Bennett's team left him in a strong position to attack over the final kilometre of the stage, and he assumed control in the final metres.

"I am so happy taking the opener here in Turkey again," said a delighted Bennett after the race which marks his fifth win of the season so far.

"I really like this country and I think the country likes me as well. The guys did an amazing job today, they pulled the whole day and delivered me perfectly.

"They take, as always, a huge part in today’s result. In the finale, I stayed on the wheel of the Deceuninck- Quick Step guys and first I thought it might be difficult today, but then I kicked off my sprint and had the highest speed. It always feels good finishing off a great teamwork."

The second stage will see the field travel the 183.3km from Tekirdag to Eceabat tomorrow.