Bennett sixth in European championships road race

Irish squad were outmanoeuvred by bigger teams and 13-man breakaway group

Carrick on Suir rider Sam Bennett: His chances were impacted by the non-participation of Eddie Dunbar and Conor Dunne, two riders who could have helped haul the breakaway group back for a sprint.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/©INPHO

Carrick on Suir rider Sam Bennett: His chances were impacted by the non-participation of Eddie Dunbar and Conor Dunne, two riders who could have helped haul the breakaway group back for a sprint. Photograph: Bryan Keane/©INPHO

 

Sam Bennett and the Irish squad were outmanoeuvred by bigger teams in the Elite men’s road race at the European championships on Sunday, with the Carrick on Suir rider having to be satisfied with a solid sixth in the event. He was caught out when a 13-man breakaway group went clear inside the final 60km. Viviani had three Italian teammates and their collaboration saw him later push forward with Yves Lampaert(Belgium) and Pascal Ackermann (Germany). Viviani outsprinted Lampaert for the victory, with Ackermann taking bronze some nine seconds later.

Bennett came home in a chasing group 33 seconds later.

Bennett’s chances were impacted by the non-participation of Eddie Dunbar and Conor Dunne, two experienced riders who could have helped haul the breakaway group back for a sprint. Both were originally due to ride but team commitments meant they were unable to take part.

Bennett’s fellow Carrick on Suir rider, Michael O’Loughlin, had a strong performance in Saturday’s under 23 men’s event, netting 10th behind the winner, Alberto Dainese of Italy. O’Loughlin was in a group one second back, with Ben Healy 25th. Will Ryan was a solid 17th in the junior men’s road race, 45 seconds off gold. Alice Sharpe was 37th in the Elite women’s event, while Maeve Gallagher was 38th in the junior women’s competition.

At home, Mark Dowling (unattached) and Eve McCrystal (Strata3 VeloRevolution) won the men’s and women’s races at the John Beggs Memorial in Dromore on Saturday. The event is round 5 of Cycling Ireland’s National Road Series. Conor Hennebry finished second and now leads the men’s ranking overall, while Grace Young placed fourth and remains at the top of the women’s standings.

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