‘The biggest race there is’: Ben Healy confirmed for first Tour de France

Irish rider who excels on tough courses has targeted a stage win on his debut

Ben Healy has targeted a stage win in his first Tour de France. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ben Healy has been confirmed to make his Tour de France debut this weekend, with the 23-year-old EF Education EasyPost rider joining Sam Bennett as the Irish participants in this year’s race.

Healy won a stage in the Giro d’Italia last year, the first three-week race of his career, and has had his eyes set on the Tour de France as the next step in his development as a rider.

“The Tour is the biggest race there is and I am really excited for it. It’s a pretty big milestone,” he said. “I’d love to try and win a stage. That’s what I’m good at. That’s what I want to go and try to do.”

Healy has built a reputation as a persistent attacker, and a rider who tends to excel on tough courses with repeated punchy climbs.


“I need a pretty hard day out with a hard finish. Stage one looks really good for me, but there are a few towards the end of the second week as well,” he said.

While his early spring wasn’t as successful as last year, including in the Ardennes classics, he pulled off a superb solo victory in the Tour of Slovenia this month and feels he is coming into strong form.

“Since the Ardennes, I’ve knuckled down and done the altitude camps and some good races,” he said. “The preparation has gone well for me. I’m excited that we’re going to get to go for our own opportunities.

“There will be days when I’m really suffering. I will just go all-in on the days when I’ve got to go all-in and save my legs on the others, when our other guys will be going for it.”

The Tour de France begins in Florence, Italy on Saturday. Fellow Irishman Bennett is seeking more success after his two stage wins and green jersey success in 2020.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling