The Kiwi climber attacked in the final steep section and climbed to eighth place at the Pyrenean airstrip. Aru and Romain Bardet countered, the latter won the stage.
After winning the Tour of California, Bennett was curious if he was able to compete with the best riders in the Tour de France.
“Today confirms for me that I can ride with these guys,” Bennett said. “I did not know if Sunday was just a good day. I was unsure. I still made a few mistakes, but this is a good learning curve. The most important thing for me is to stay consistent.”
At 500 metres remaining, Bennett attacked and tried to grab the stage victory. “I had really good legs. A good stage result here would have been nice. Against these guys it is not very realistic to win, but you got to try."
“The year started pretty bad for me with glandular fever. After that, almost everything went well. I was always near the top-10 in the other races and I am hoping to build on it. There is no better place for that then here in the Tour de France.”
“He is competing with the best ten riders in the Tour,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “It was a one-on-one battle with the other guys. He did suffer today, but when you can compete with the very best, you have to battle for every spot."
“The most important thing now is that he keeps this high level he now has and not look too much at the other riders. We will see where it leads him."
“He tried to attack and grab the victory in the final. He is a real fighter. He always wants more. That can be a pitfall for him, but he rode a superb race today.”