Sam Bennett claims victory in Race Melbourne event

Carrick-on-Suir man registers the BORA-hansgrohe team’s first success

  Sam Bennett of Bora-Hansgrohe celebrates as he crosses the line to win the Men’s Towards Zero Race Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Photograph:  Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Sam Bennett of Bora-Hansgrohe celebrates as he crosses the line to win the Men’s Towards Zero Race Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

 

Sam Bennett received a major morale boost on Thursday when he clocked up his earliest-ever season victory. Competing in the Race Melbourne event in Australia, the Carrick-on-Suir rider put in a superb sprint to claim victory.

Bennett came from some way back inside the final kilometre to finish several lengths clear of Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and Scott Sunderland (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness).

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott), the rider who took four stages in the recent Santos Tour Down Under, was back in fifth place.

“It’s great to get a win under my belt early in the season,” said Bennett afterwards. “I want to thank Bora-hansgrohe for the nice race programme, and having us here and their great support, and also to the team-mates.

“The guys did a great job today supporting me – I’d like to thank them. They kept me well protected all day and set me up perfectly for the finish.”

Bennett has never raced in Australia before but headed over prior to the start of the recent Santos Tour Down Under. He was second in the warm-up event, the People’s Choice Classic on January 15th, and then third on the opening stage two days later.

“This was the first victory for the BORA-hansgrohe team,” said sport director Steffen Radochla. “It was a very fast sprint and Sam was unbelievably fast. We’re really happy with the race and this first win of the team.”

Bennett’s team has stepped up to the WorldTour level this season and has signed riders of the calibre of world champion Peter Sagan. The victory is important as it shows that Bennett has stepped up a level and is ready to perform strongly alongside his new team-mates.

Good shape

Matt BrammeierAqua Blue Sport

“I feel surprisingly good,” he told The Irish Times this week. “It is nice to have a decent break and a good block of training. This time last year I was coming back from a big crash and I am in a much better place now.”

He said that he expects to help the team’s sprinters in the race. “I think we are going with a pretty strong team. We will be trying to look after Blythe or Andy Fenn. I think all but one stage is a sprint. I guess my role will be trying to shepherd them a little bit. Keep them out of trouble.

“Obviously it is our first race together . . .we are just trying to get gelled together, get to know everyone and how everyone is riding. It is exciting, I am looking forward to it and also getting stuck in again.”

In other news, Cycling Ireland has announced that former international Eugene Moriarty has joined its board. He is replacing Senan Turnbull as an appointed director.

CI president Ciarán McKenna said the his appointment is significant.

“Eugene will bring a wealth of cycling and business experience to the board, particularly in the area of corporate governance and organisational reform – with them being his two areas of expertise.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.