Ireland’s Dan Martin celebrates after winning the Liège-Bastogne-Liège cycle road race in 2013 in  Belgium. File photograph:  Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Irish cyclist hopes to bounce back on returns to Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic he won in 2013

 Cyclists at the  finish  point at Sultanahmet Square in final Sakarya-Istanbul stage of the Tour of Turkey in Istanbul. Photograph: Getty Images

Carrick-on-Suir rider finishes with 70 points, far ahead of stage winner’s Caleb Ewan’s 56 points

Sam Bennett extended his lead  in the Presidential Tour of Turkey after finishing third on stage four. Photograph:    Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Irish cyclist also remains top of points standing ahead of Saturday’s long climb

Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Bora-Hansgrohe. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Sprinter finishes stage in second place to retain overall lead

 Sam Bennett  made it back-to-back stage wins in the Presidential Tour of Turkey. File photograph:  Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Waterford cyclist quickest on uphill finish to claim sixth win of the season

Sam Bennett winning the opening stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey in Tekirdag. Photograph: Getty Images

Carrick-on-Suir rider notches up his eighth career stage win

Sam Bennett won the opening stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey in Tekirdag. Photograph:  Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Waterford rider claims fifth victory of the season after returning from break

Dan Martin finished second overall in the Tour of the Basque Country. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Irish rider finishes final stage in second place behind Adam Yates

Luuc Bugter celebrates after winning the stage eight of the Rás Tailteann last year. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Cycling governing body confirms race will remain eight-day event if it returns next year

Dan Martin finished third on stage three of the Volta a Catalunya. Photograph:  Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Adam Yates takes stage after hauling in Irish rider’s late break

  Irish rider Sam Bennett of Bora-Hansgrohe   celebrates winning the sixth stage of the Paris-Nice   race   from Peynier to Brignoles, France. Photograph:  Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Irish cyclist overtakes France’s Arnaud Démare just before the line to win stage six

 Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Bora-Hansgrohe during stage five of Paris-Nice. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Prestigious one day race, twice won by Sean Kelly, will take place on Saturday week

Ireland’s Sam Bennett of Bora Hansgrohe team celebrates while crossing the finish line to win the third stage of the Paris-Nice. Photograph: EPA

Irish rider holds off rivals to continue fine early season form

Lydia Boylan returns home to Dublin Airport after winning a silver medal in the Points Race at the World Track Cycling Championships in Poland. Photograph: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

‘It just feels so special. It is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people’

Lydia Boylan of Ireland takes silver in the women’s points race on day five of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships held in the BGZ BNP Paribas Velodrome Arena in Pruszkow, Poland. Photo: Cycling Ireland

Silver for the 31-year-old followed Mark Downey’s bronze medal on Friday

Sam Bennett took the final stage in Dubai. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Slovenia’s Primoz secures overall victory as Bennett edges out Fernando Gaviria in Dubai

Italian Elia Viviani of DeceuninckQuick-Step team (second) sprints to win ahead of Colombian Fernando Gaviria of UAE Team during the fifth stage of the UAE tour in Khor Fakkan. Photograph:  Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Bora-hansgrohe rider edged out in sprint to the line as Elia Viviani takes stage

Ireland’s Lydia Gurley and Germany’s Franziska Brausse in action during the  world track championships in Purszkow, Poland. Photograph: Kacper Pembel/Reuters

Women’s pursuit squad impress on their world championships debut

Ireland’s  Eddie Dunbar. He showed strong form recently when he was fifth on a stage and seventh overall in the Tour de La Provence. Photograph:  Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Eddie Dunbar faces unspecified period off the bike after crashing heavily in the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal

Luuc Bugter celebrates his victory in the race in 2018. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Road race pulled this year after no new financial backer is found to replace An Post

Daniel Martin of Ireland and UAE - Team Emirates during the 70th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2019. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Irish rider finished fifth in Saturday’s stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

 Ireland’s Daniel Martin: the  stage between Quart de Poblet and Chera  should suit the Irish climber.  Photograph:  Reuters/Stephane Mahe

‘Wait and see’ continues to be the position regarding the future of the Rás Tailteann

Sam Bennett of Ireland and team Bora-Hansgrohe after winning stage seven of the Vuelta a San Juan Internacional. Photograph: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

‘It was good for the morale to start the season by taking a win in my first stage race’

 Fernando Gaviria of Colombia and UAE Team Emirates and  Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Bora-Hansgrohe during the  37th Tour of San Juan . Photograph:  Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Irishman led the bunch sprint some 12 seconds behind the winner German Tivani

 Conor Dunne: he  has spent much of his career working for others, but stepped things up last year when he took the national title with a superb breakaway effort.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

National champion Conor Dunne shows strongly when finishing 11th in 12km time trial at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina

Shane Archbold and Aaron Gate. Both are taking part in  the five-day New Zealand Cycle Classic with the  EVO Pro team

Some or all of the five Irish riders on new team will compete in upcoming Mallorca Challenge

 Eimear Dignam: “We keep pushing out the final decision, but I don’t know how much longer I can hold out.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Race organiser Eimear Dignam in limbo in relation to sponsorship of the race

Sam Bennett: the Bora-hansgrohe rider will begin his 2019 season in the Vuelta a San Juan Internacional on January 27th. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

Bennett frustrated by indications from his team that it will not select him for the Giro d’Italia

Mark Downey: he has taken gold at three track cycling World Cup races. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

New Irish team adds another strong rider in Mark Downey

Race director  Éimear Dignam with Noel Clarke  at the Rás Stage Three in Tipperary last year. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Race director Dignam in talks with two companies as final deadline looms

Ireland’s Matthew Teggart: he will be one of four Irishmen on the new UCI-registered  team. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

The team’s early programme includes the New Zealand Cycle Classic

 Felix English and Mark Downey of Ireland competing in a  madison chase  at the Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome  in London. Photograph: Getty Images

Sam Bennett says he deserves a place on the Bora-hansgrohe team in next year’s Giro d’Italia

Philip Deignan celebrates his stage victory in the 2009 Vuelta a España. Photograph: Inpho/Getty

Letterkenney rider won stage in 2009 Vuelta a España before finishing ninth overall

Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrating after winning  the  last stage of the  Giro d’Italia in Rome in May. Photograph: Getty Images

Lara Gillespie is given a special achievement award and is named Cycling Ireland’s female rider of the year

Race director Eimear Dignam and Noel Clarke on his 50th Rás. Photograph: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Decision on next year’s cycle race is postponed until early December

Ireland’s Sam Bennett winning the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia from Pizzo to Praia a Mare back in May. Photograph:  Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Team-mate and fellow sprinter Peter Sagan may ride in the Giro d’Italia next year

Holdsworth’s Damien Shaw leading in the Rás Tailteann earlier this year.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Holdsworth Pro Cycling team may come to an end and Team Wiggins being scaled back

 Conor Dunne celebrates winning the Cycling Ireland Road Racing National Championships in Sligo last July. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Felix English is best of the Ireland squad in Canada, coming fourth in the scratch race

Overall 2018 Rás Tailteann winner Luuc Bugter of Team Delta X UCI Continental with race director Eimear Dignam. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Rás Tailteann confirms plug will be pulled on next year’s race if deal not struck soon

Eddie Dunbar is is competing in the Tour of Guangxi with Team Sky. Photograph: Inpho

Irisg pro is 20 seconds behind the overall leader Fabio Jakobsen of QuickStep Floors

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

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