Sam Bennett bounced back from Monday's disappointment by taking intermediate sprint spoils on today's fourth stage of the Tour de France.
The 29-year-old Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider was denied a first stage victory by Caleb Ewan in an exciting sprint finish yesterday, but he earned some consolation and valuable points in the main peloton sprint battle ahead of the mountainous finish to today's 160.5-kilometre stage from Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlette.
Bennett is now level with seven-time winner Peter Sagan in the battle for the Maillot vert on 83 points. However, as Sagan is ahead in general classification he will continue to wear the jersey.
After his sprint exertions, Bennett finished the stage among the back markers as Slovenian Primoz Roglic prevailed in the first mountain-top finish.
Roglic's compatriot Tadej Pogacar was second and Frenchman Guillaume Martin was third in a sprint featuring all the pre-race favourites.
France's Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall leader's yellow jersey when he took fifth place.
Nicolas Roche was 22nd, just 28 seconds behind Roglic and Dan Martin was 53rd, 3'09 behind. The pair are 24th and 74th respectively in general classification while Bennett is 156th.
💚 A well-fought Intermediate Sprint in the peloton saw 🇮🇪 @Sammmy_Be prevail!— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 1, 2020
💚 Un sprint intermédiaire très disputé dans le peloton ! C'est 🇮🇪 Sam Bennett qui passe en tête !#TDF2020 #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/eafqmhUhi4
Roglic was seen as favourite for overall victory in this year's Tour before suffering injuries in a crash at the Criterium du Dauphine last month, but appeared untroubled as he sprang forward to take the win.
Roglic is now only seven seconds behind Alaphilippe, and this performance will be seen as a sign that he has carried over the form which saw him leading in the Dauphine before he withdrew ahead of the final stage.
"It was quite a hard day actually, quite hot, but the guys did again a really good job, I was all the time in a good position and at the end I could do a good sprint," the Slovenian said.
Asked if he had hoped the victory would come with the yellow jersey, he added: "I have to accept it, I don’t really care. It was a nice day, we stayed safe at the end, we win which is even better and we have to continue like that.
"I’m coming back (from injury). We see that I am still coming back and now I can race every day feeling even better."