Ireland’s Dan Martin in action during stage seven of the Critérium du Dauphiné from Saint-Genix-les-Villages to Les Sept Laux-Pipay. Photograph:  Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Irish rider finishes fifth on seventh stage as Tour de France

Wout van Aert, Team Jumbo-Vismarider,  celebrates as he pips  Bora-Hansgrohe rider  Sam Bennett (right), to win the fifth stage of the   Criterium du Dauphine in Voiron, France. Photograph: Anne-Christing Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

Irishman frustrated after he got boxed in during exciting finale to 201km stage

Chris Froome will  miss the Tour de France after a fall during the Criterium du Dauphine. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

Four-time Tour winner crashed while doing time-trial reconnaissance

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the finish line after the third stage of the 71st edition of the Criterium du Dauphine. Photograph: Getty Images

Also in the main bunch was fellow Irishman Dan Martin who stays in 17th overall

Bora-Hansgrohe riders lead the pack on the first stage of the 71st edition of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race on Sunday. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Irish cyclist gets off to positive start crossing the line 48th as Boasson Hagen triumphs

Team Movistar rider  Richard Carapaz rides during the final stage individual time-trial in Verona as he claimed victory in the Giro d’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Eddie Dunbar finishes 22nd overall despite crashing in final time-trial

 Riders take the descent of the Rolle pass during stage 20 of the  Giro d’Italia  from Feltre to Croce D’Aune-Monte Avena. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Pello Bilbao wins battle of Basque riders to take penultimate stage of race

Colombia’s Esteban Chaves celebrates victory in Stage 19 of the Giro D’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty

Colombian took eight-month break from cycling last year due to Epstein-Barr virus

Team Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane’ Italian rider Damiano Cima  jubilates as he finishes first in the 18th stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia  in Santa Maria di Sala. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty

Cima claims stage victory but Carapaz looks on course for race success on Sunday

French rider Nans Peters of Team AG2R La Mondiale, celebrates on the podium after winning the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race. Photo: Alessandro Di Meo/EPA

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar drops one place after stage 17

Italy’s Dario Cataldo crosses the finish line at Como on Stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Bennett helps Bora-Hansgrohe team to seventh in Hammer Stavanger event in Norway

Team Movistar rider  Richard Carapaz  of Ecuador celebrates his victory as he crosses the finish line to win stage 14 of the  Giro d’Italia  from Saint-Vincent to Courmayeur. Photograph:  by Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Ecuadorian rider makes his move on the Colle San Carlo during 14th stage

Stage thirteen of the 102nd Giro d’Italia on Friday. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty

Dunbar rode strongly but dropped back to help team-mate Pavel Sivakov

 Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin of Team Katusha reacts as he crosses the finish line to win stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia  from Pinerolo to Ceresole Reale. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar goes on the attack again before dropping back to help team-mate

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar comes home third behind the Italian duo of Cesare Benedetti and Damiano Caruso on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia  from Cuneo to Pinerolo. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Cork rider claims first podium finish on a Grand Tour event

Australian rider Caleb Ewan (C) of Lotto Soudal team celebrates winning the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia. Photo: Alessandro Di Meo/EPA

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) also finished in the main bunch, placing 88th

France’s Arnaud Demare took stage 10 of the Giro. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty

Frenchman holds off Elia Viviani and Rudiger Selig as crash reduces stage 10 sprint

Team Lotto rider  Caleb Ewan of Australia celebrates as he wins stage eight of the  Giro d’Italia  from Tortoreto Lido to Pesaro. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Valerio Conti remains in pink jersey after eighth stage

Spanish cyclist Pello Bilbao celebrates winning the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia. Photograph: AP

Irish youngster places 28th in latest stage won by Pello Bilbao to move up to 55th overall

 Riders crash during stage six of the  Giro d’Italia from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images

Fausto Masnada takes stage as Valerio Conti takes advantage of Primoz Roglic’s crash

Pascal Ackermann (R) powered to victory in stage five of the Giro D’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty

Bora-Hansgrohe rider pips Fernando Gaviria on the line after mastering wet conditions

Team Ineos team mates Salvatore Puccio of Italy and Eddie Dunbar of Ireland during Stage Three from Vinci to Orbetello. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Irish rider Eddie Dunbar had started the day 35th overall but slipped to 82nd

Sam Bennett: has proved  the most successful sprinter thus far this season and, at 28 years of age, is likely to continue winning for many more years.

Top sprinter would be a viable option for Team Katusha and others

Eddie Dunbar (right) after his podium finish in the Tour de Yorkshire alongside Ineos team-mate Chris Lawless and CCC’s Greg Van Avermaet. Photograph:  Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

22-year-old Cork rider will be part of the Team Ineos squad for three-week race

  Irish rider Sam Bennett    sprints for the second place in front of third-placed Sonny Colbrelli  during the second stage of the 73th Tour de Romandie UCI ProTour cycling race in Switzerland on Thursday. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/EPA

Irish rider places third as German rider Rick Zabel takes stage victory on day two

  Sam Bennett    sprints for the second place in front of third-placed Sonny Colbrelli  during the second stage of the 73th Tour de Romandie. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/EPA

Carrick-on-Suir rider finishes second, 59 seconds behind Swiss rider Stefan Küng

 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

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