Sam Bennett finished first in the final stage of the Tour of Turkey. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Irish rider puts last year’s demons to bed and finishes first in overall points classification

Sam Bennett: ‘I thought it would be harder on the climb but I was actually comfortable.’ Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Cycling: Irish rider beats Argentinian Maximiliano Richeze to extend his overall lead

Sam Bennett comes in first to take stage two of the Tour of Turkey. Photo: Getty Images

Irish rider improved on his second place finish in the opening stage on Tuesday

Sam Bennett of Team Bora-Hansgrohe, Ariel Maximiliano Richeze Team Quick Step Floors and Jean Pierre Drucker of BMC Racing Team after stage two of the Tour of Turkey. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Irish rider came in second place with Maximiliano Richeze taking the victory

Sam Bennett  winning stage two of the Presidential  Tour of Turkey  in October 2017. Photograph: Getty Images

Multiple Irish road race champion Lydia Boylan still without professional road team for 2019

Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde celebrates winning  the men’s  race at the  Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. Photograph:  Getty Images

Dan Martin was distanced on the Igls climb with just over 45km remaining, and was a non-finisher

 Eddie Dunbar. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Swiss rider Marc Hirschi takes the gold medal in the under 23 world road race

 Remco Evenepoel  of Belgium leads the pack of riders during the Men’s Junior Road Race of the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. Photograph: Christian Bruna/EPA

Ben Healy finishes 25th in junior road race where future star Evenepoel takes double victory

Team Aqua Blue’s Conor Dunne celebrates winning the Cycling Ireland Road Racing National Championships, Sligo, in July. Photograph: Inpho

Collapse of Aqua Blue Sport has plunged Dunne into uncertainty and may force him to leave sport

Britain’s  Simon  Yates celebrates on the podium after winning the 73rd edition of “La Vuelta” Tour of Spain in Madrid. Photograph: Getty Images

Yates’ success sees British riders take all Grand Tours this season

Eddie Dunbar has signed for Team Sky. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The 22-year-old was previously with the now defunct Aqua Blue Sport team in Ireland

 Rohan Dennis of BMC Racing Team  celebrates after winning the 16th stage of the La Vuelta   after  a 32 km individual time-trial from Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega. Photograph: Getty Images

BMC Racing teammate Nicolas Roche finishes in 45th position to lie 35th overall

France’s Coralie Demay (in pink) defends her leaders jersey during Rás na mBan stage  six in Kilkenny. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

In Spain, Nicolas Roche finishes 28 minutes behind the solo stage winner Thibaut Pinot

Stage winner Nicola Juniper of TC Racing on her way to the summit of Mount Leinster with sewcond-placed Coralie Demay of Team Breizeh Ladies. Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan

Matthew Teggart was forced to abandon his goal of winning the sprints classification in Tour of Britain

France’s Alexandre Geniez (L) wins the 12th stage of Vuelta a España. Photograph: Inpho

Jesús Herrada takes over at the top in Spain amid a day of drama at Rás na mBan

Italian Alessandro De Marchi of BMC team celebrates winning the 11th stage of La Vuelta tour over 207km from Mombuey to Luintra, Spain. Photograph: epa

Irish rider helps set up his BMC Racing teammate Alessandro De Marchi for the stage win

Riders in action during the 10th stage of La Vuelta 2018 cycling tour, over 177km between Salamanca and Fermoselle, Spain, on Tuesday. Manuel Bruque/EPA

Martin leaves race at 10th stage to be with wife Jess for the birth of their twins

French rider Tony Gallopin of  Ag2r La Mondiale team crossing the finish line to win the 7th stage of La Vuelta.  August 31st. Photograph: EPA/Manuel Bruque

Frenchman Tony Gallopin was first to the line – Rudy Molard still overall leader

Nicolas Roche: finding the going tough in the Vuelta a España. Photograph:  Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Irish rider slips to 26th place overall as French sprinter Bouhanni claims stage six

The peloton is on the way during the second stage of La Vuelta 2018 cycling tour. Photograph: Manuel Bruque

Stage result sees him remain 50 seconds behind overall leader Michal Kwiatkowski

Team Aqua Blue’s Conor Dunne celebrates winning the National Road Racing Championships. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

First ever Irish team to ride the Vuelta a España will be no more from next month

Movistar’s Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde  celebrates in Ardales after winning the second stage of the 73rd edition of “La Vuelta” Tour of Spain  race. Photograph: Getty Images

Nicolas Roche best of the two Irish riders on second stage of the Vuelta a España

Ireland’s Lara Gillespie celebrates her victory in the points race at the European junior championships in Switzerland. Photograph: Union Européenne de Cyclisme

Teenager wins points race to add to silver she won in individual pursuit

Nicolas Roche: looking forward to competing in the Vuelta a Espaná again.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Fifth-place finish in Arctic Race of Norway ensures he makes BMC Racing Team’s selection

Rás Tailteann race director Eimear Dignam: “We have had a couple of meetings with prospective backers, and are still waiting to hear back from that.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The cycling race had been without its usual sponsorship after An Post ended its commitment after the 2017 event

Nicolas Roche: “I must show my form in the Arctic Race. I hope can ride the Vuelta as I believe I’m ready for a top performance there.”  Photograph:  Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

BMC Racing rider determined to show he’s in good form in upcoming Artic Race of Norway

Lydia Gurley clocked up a fifth place finish in the women’s points race in Glasgow. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Gurley Ireland’s best performer in Glasgow, Dan Martin finishes 12th in the Clasica San Sebastian

Dan Martin celebrates after he received the  prize for being the Tour de France’s most combative  rider after the  last stage in Paris on Sunday. Photograph: Getty Images

In-form Irish rider also set to take part in this year’s Vuelta a España

Dan Martin celebrates victory in stage six of the Tour de France. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

Irish rider set to finish eighth overall despite suffering a heavy crash in the eighth stage

UAE Team Emirates rider Daniel Martin in action during the 17th stage of the  the Tour de France over 65km between Bagneres de Luchon and Saint Lary Soulan col du Portet. Photograph:  Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Chris Froome committed to helping his team-mate secure victory in Paris

 Ireland’s Daniel Martin and Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, wait for the race to resume. The race was halted for several minutes after tear gas was used as protesting farmers attempted to block the route. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish rider remains tenth overall in Tour de France heading into Wednesday's 17th stage

Dan Martin of Ireland during stage 12 in Alpe d’Huez. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

‘I wasn’t even breathing hard, I just had nothing left in my legs. I’m just really tired’

Lotto Soudal rider Jelle Vanendert of Belgium in action during stage 11 of the Tour de France. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Irish cyclist puts in another strong performance to rise to 10th overall

 Dan Martin of Ireland during stage 10 from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand. Photograph: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Irish rider moves to 17th overall and next two days of summit finishes should suit him

LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands wins the eighth stage of the Tour de France  ahead of Lotto Soudal rider Andre Greipel of Germany. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Irish rider caught up in crash inside final 20 km on Bastille Day stage

Ireland’s Dan Martin celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France between Brest and Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, western France. Photo: Marco Bertorell/Getty Images

Irish rider attacked early and held off Pierre Roger Latour right on the finish line

 Chris Froome of Great Britain and Team Sky. A success in this year’s Tour would  mean victory in four consecutively-held Grand Tours. The only other rider to do this was Merckx  back in 1972/1973.  Photograph: Getty Images

With the exception of Dumoulin who also cycled the Giro, Froome’s rivals should have the benefit of freshness

Team Aqua Blue’s Conor Dunne celebrates winning the Cycling Ireland Road Racing National Championships. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Meanwhile, Eve McCrystal took a superb victory in the women’s championships

Ryan Mullen: will be looking to complete another double in Sunday’s road race. Photograph:  Tim de Waele/Getty

Kelly Murphy claims the honours in women’s race

Sam Bennett saw off Marcel Kittel to finish first in the Rund um Köln. Photograph: Ciarán Fallon/Inpho

Martin plans to ‘recover for a few days’ ahead of preparation for Tour de France

Ireland’s Daniel Martin celebrates after crossing the finish line ahead of Britain’s Geraint Thomas to win the fifth stage of the 70th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race between Grenoble and Valmorel. Photo: Philippe Lopez/Getty Images

The Team Emirates rider held of Britain’s Geraint Thomas on the climb to Valmorel

France’s Julian Alaphilippe (right) sprints ahead of Ireland’s Daniel Martin (centre) and Britain’s Geraint Thomas  to win the fourth stage of the  Criterium du Dauphine in France. Photograph: Getty Images

Martin’s prime objective in riding race is to hone his form prior to the Tour de France

Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrates winning  the final  stage of the  Giro d’Italia in Rome on May 27th. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Carrick-on-Suir rider has taken three stages of Giro d’Italia - an Irish record

 Luuc Bugter celebrates after winning the Rás by one second. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Bugter overcomes 10-second overnight deficit to win the race in Skerries

 Sam Bennett  crosses the finishing line in Rome to win  the final stage of the  Giro d’Italia. Photograph:  Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo

Irish rider is now among the best sprinters in the modern peloton

Team KTM’s Julian Varley celebrates winning stage seven of the Ras Tailteann. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Best of Irish was Lindsay Watson in sixth, as Mark Dowling put in strong performance

Riders pass the Rock of Cashel during stage  six of the Rás Tailteann, from  Mitchelstown to Carlow yesterday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Irishman delighted as he clinches victory in the bunch sprint into Carlow

 Riders   on stage five of the Rás Tailteann on Thursday. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

Stage two winner Robert-Jon McCarthy caught by German sprinter in closing stages

Jason Van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) arrives in Glengarriff to win stage four of the Rás Tailteann. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Rás Tailteann: Dutchman beats Matteo Cigala, Robbe Ghys and Jacob Rathe to the line

Luuc Bugter (in green) takes stage three of the Rás Tailteann into Listowel. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Robert-Jon McCarthy comes fourth as Dutch rider wins following two days as runner-up

Robert-Jon McCarthy celebrates victory in stage two of the Ras. Photograph: Bryan Keane /Inpho

McCarthy won opening stage of race in 2014 when competing with Australian nationality

Britain’s Simon Yates celebrates after winning the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia, from Tolmezzo to Sappada. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP

Sam Bennett remains second in points standings while Nicolas Roche withdraws

Cyrille Thiery of the Switzerland National Team wins the first stage of the Rás Tailteann from  Drogheda to Athlone. Photograph: Inpho

Irish riders Jake Gray lie in third place overall while former national champion Damien Shaw is seventh

Elia Viviani (right)  pips Ireland’s  Sam Bennett (Team Bora-Hansgrohe)  and Danny Van Poppel of ( Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing) in a sprint to the line during Stage 13 of the Tour of Italy at Nervesa Della Battaglia. Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Irishman forced to settle for second spot as Viviani pips him in sprint finish

Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the line to take Stage 12 of the Giro D’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP

Irish rider emulates Stephen Roche in 1987 by winning a second stage in this year’s race

Slovakia’s Matej Mohoric sprints to win the 10th stage  of the Giro D’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP

Irish rider finishes third on stage 10 behind winner Matej Mohoric and Nico Denz

Irish rider Sam Bennett crosses the line ahead of Italy’s Elia Viviani. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP

Bennett pips Viviani to become first Irish winner of a stage since Stephen Roche in 1987

Sam Bennett: Giro d’Italia taking a mainly flat route to Praia a Mare on Friday. Photograph: Ciaran Fallon/Inpho

Bora-Hansgrohe rider showing strong form as he hunts first Grand Tour stage win

 Italian rider Enrico Battaglin crossing the  line to win the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia over 153km from Agrigento to Santa Ninfa. Photograph: Daniel Dalzennaro

Enrico Battaglin beats fellow Italian Giovanni Visconti to the line in Santa Ninfa

Elia Viviana (L) crosses the finish line in stage three of the Giro D’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP

Bora-Hansgrohe racer finishes behind Elia Viviani and Sacha Modolo in Eilat

Ryan Mullen: “I’m a TT rider and I’m here to ride the TT, so I’m going to give it my best like I always do and see where that gets me.” Photograph: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Irish Trek-Segafredo rider going for strong start against the clock in Jerusalem

Bob Jungels of Luxembourg (Quick-Step Floors team) on his way to winning the race in Liège, Belgium on Sunday. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Puncture leaves Irish rider finishing in 18th place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic

 Daniel Martin:  won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic five years ago and finished runner-up in the race last year. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Irish rider will mount bid for a second victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic

Dan Martin (centre): “I feel ready to head into some of my favourite races.” Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty

Irish rider in ‘good condition’ and looking forward to Sunday’s Amstel Gold

Lydia Boylan of the Ireland team competes in the Women’s Omnium Scratch Race at UCI World Cycling in Hong Kong in April 2017. Photograph: Getty Images

Also: first international teams announced for this year’s Rás Tailteann in Drogheda

Viner Caremark Pactimo rider  Conor Hennebry: finished close to his main rivals and won by two seconds over Toby Atkins (Active Racing Team). Photograph: Inpho

Rupert Graham (Spirit Tifosi RT) wins the final stage and the overall classification in Tour of the North

 Ryan Mullen during the fifth stage of the  Tour of Algarve between Faro and Alto do Malhao last month Photograph:   Filipe Amorim/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Irish racing cyclist gearing up to make his mark for his new Trek-Segafredo team

Irish racing cyclist Daniel Martin  during the  Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in Camprodon, Spain, on Wednesday. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

UAE Team Emirates cyclist deflated after finishing 19th behind Valverde in first place

 Colombian rider Alvaro Hodeg celebrates as he wins the first stage of the Volta a Catalunya in Calella, Barcelona, ahead of Ireland’s Sam Bennett. Photograph: PA

Fellow Irishmen Dan Martin, Nicolas Roche and Philip Deignan also finished in main bunch

Ireland’s Mark Downey leads the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal after the second stage. Photograph:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Team Wiggins cyclist has transferred his track form to the road at Volta ao Alentejo

Dan Martin:  Placed 22nd, one minute 36 seconds off the yellow jersey. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Tour de France: Irish cyclist will have to rely on strong climbing form to reach podium

 British cyclist Bradley Wiggins celebrating his win in the Tour de France in 2012. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

Inquiry questions cyclist’s use of powerful corticosteroid prior to Tour de France

Robyn Stewart became the first Irish woman to compete in the women’s sprint at the track world championships. Photograph: Bryn  Lennon/Getty

First Irish rider to compete in women’s sprint at the track world championships

Irish riders Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley  in London last year. The pair  will ride the women’s Madison on Saturday week at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Photograph:  Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Cycling Ireland director says group is one of strongest Irish teams to compete at worlds

Daniel Martin racing in the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal. He took fourth in the second stage. Photograph: Getty Images

Roche plays role in setting up teammate Van Avermaet for stage victory in Oman

Cyclists  cross the finish line in the 2017 An Post Rás,  in Skerries, Co Dublin.  File photograph: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

This year’s edition will feature 34 climbs, including four category-one ascents

Nicolas Roche is competing in the Dubai Tour. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

Mark Cavendish takes third stage as Irish duo perform well on the route to Fujairah

 Danish rider Lasse Norman Hansen of  Aqua Blue Sports celebrates taking stage one of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Victoria, Australia. Photograph:  Con Chronis/Getty Images

Winning at Jayco Herald Sun Tour shows Irish team is able to beat those on WorldTour squads

Sam Bennett:  claimed his first win of the season in the Towards Zero Race Melbourne criterium. Photograph: Ciaran Fallon/Inpho

Win in Melbourne criterium follows Ryan Mullen taking stage at the Vuelta a San Juan

Ryan Mullen  covered the 14.4km distance in 17 minutes 43 seconds, beating Italian Filippo Ganna by 25 seconds. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish Trek-Segafredo rider ‘super happy’ after clinching first win as a pro in Argentina

Ireland’s Sam Bennett suffered a mechanical problem, ending his chances in the opening leg of the Santos Tour Down Under. Photograph: Philippe/AFP/Getty Images

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Irish rider struggling in first three stages of Santos Tour Down Under

Ireland’s Sam Bennett: bravely battling a head cold. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Organisers still searching for a new title sponsor following An Post’s withdrawal

Nicolas Roche: “The plan now is to ride the Giro, and then which one of the next two Grand Tours is not quite certain.” Photograph: Bryan Lennon/Getty Images

Roche gets year under way in Tour of Dubai, while Martin will start in Portugal

Sam Bennett heads towards 2018 as a much more confident rider. Photograph: Getty Images

Carrick-on-Suir rider to make 2018 debut in People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide

Mark Downey, pictured celebrating after winning gold medal in the UCI Cycling World Cup in February  in  Colombia,  will join the Team Wiggins squad in 2018. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Organisers of cycling event will seek number of smaller sponsors to fill An Post gap

Sam Bennett: was third on the points classification in the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

Irish rider did well on his debut in Italy last year – but will miss out on Tour de France

Mark Downey  celebrating a victory in  Cali, Colombia last year. “I’m confident that I’ve chosen the right move team-wise, and am very motivated to get back racing. Photograph: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty

Plan is to peak for the World Championships in three months’ time

Dan Martin in the Tour de France this year: cyclist has left the QuickStep Floors squad he competed with for the past two years, and joined  UAE Team Emirates. Photograph:  Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Dan Martin eyes Tour de France podium finish with new UAE Team Emirates squad

Ireland’s  Ryan Mullen:  ““I don’t know my programme yet. We have a team camp in December, where I guess we will get the race programme.” Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Over 120 groups have now called for start of 2018 Giro to be moved from Israel

New Rás race organiser Eimear Dignam (right) with Alma Grimes and Mateo Cigala during the 2016 race. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Eimear Dignam takes up the role of race organiser

Lydia Boylan: ‘Each race is a learning experience for us.’ Photograph:  Kevin Lee/Getty Images

Lydia Gurley and Lydia Boylan performed strongly at the women’s Madison on Saturday

 Ryan Mullen: the dual Irish road race and time trial champion has signed a two-year deal with the American WorldTour team. Photograph: EPA

Irish team set for action in round two of track World Cup in Manchester

 Marc Potts: he will compete in the scratch qualifiers on Friday, and, all going well, will ride the scratch final on Saturday.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

News the An Post Chainreaction/Sean Kelly team will not be part of 2018 peloton a blow to Irish cycling

Martyn Irvine has announced his second retirement from cycling. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Irish rider will take up the role of Sport Director with team Aqua Blue Sport

 An Post Chainreaction  team: Matthew Teggart, Seán McKenna, Seán Kelly, Damien Shaw and Conor Hennebry at the 2017 team launch in Calpe, Spain.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Brexit and crisis in Catalonia ‘made it difficult for us’, says team founder Seán Kelly

Strong performances from Dan Martin saw the Irish cyclist place in the top 10 of UCI’s rankings for road riders. Photograph:  Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Sam Bennett and Nicolas Roche also ranked inside the top 100 of the WorldTour rankings

Nicolas Roche finished third in inaugural Tour of Guangxi. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

Irish rider secures maiden WorldTour general classification podium finish in China

Cyclists compete in the Tour of Guangxi cycling race in Beihai in China’s southern Guangxi region last week.  Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Irishman heads into final stage of race looking confident for overall podium finish

 Lydia Boylan (pictured) and Lydia Gurley claimed silver in the Madison at the European track championships in Berlin. Photograph:  Kevin Lee/Getty Images

Nicolas Roche in third position at Tour of Guangxi in China

Ireland’s  Marc Potts finished fourth in the men’s scratch race at the European Track Championships in Berlin. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Team of nine cyclists hope to follow up on last winter’s superb track campaign

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