Sam Bennett looking forward to a strong year with NetApp Endura team

Now over illness Carrick-on-Suir rider is aiming for Tour de France

Sam Bennett: “I am more confident in my ability now.” Photograph: Carlos Barba/EPA

Sam Bennett: “I am more confident in my ability now.” Photograph: Carlos Barba/EPA

 

Now fully over the illnesses which affected him in the second half of the season, Sam Bennett has said that he is encouraged by his form at this point of the year and is looking forward to a strong 2015.

The Carrick-on-Suir rider had an impressive debut pro season with his NetApp Endura team in 2014, winning four races despite that jump up in level of competition.

Although his plan to expand on that list of successes was foiled by sickness, he is determined to make the most of his opportunities in the months ahead and has set an important goal.

Big effort

Tour de FranceThe Irish Times

Bennett wasn’t selected for the squad as the team wanted to protect him from doing too much, too soon. Providing he is in good form in 2015 that shouldn’t be a consideration and with the team’s previous leader Leopold Konig no longer part of the lineup after his move to Sky, it looks very possible that the team could target the sprinting stages with Bennett.

The 24-year-old rider said that he has been surprised how quickly his form returned after a brief period of training.

He has reached new peak levels in terms of sprinting power output and is also lighter than he was during the 2014 season. He believes the former should translate into greater speed in the sprint finishes and the latter to ensuring he has more in reserve at the end of a race.

He’s also a lot more secure in his ability that he was twelve months ago.

“After seeing how well things worked, I am a lot more relaxed,” Bennett said. “I am more confident in my ability now.”

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