Bennett gunning for good performances in Tour of Britain
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bennett gunning for good performances in Tour of Britain

by VeloNation Press at 3:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
 
Two top six placings last year whet appetite for 22 year Irishman

Sam BennettLooking for some big results to help him secure a pro contract, An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly rider Sam Bennett is aiming to improve on the solid performances he achieved at the 2012 Tour of Britain.

The 22 year old rider took placings of fifth, sixth and ninth on stages of the race last year and was also seventh in the European championship road race and tenth in the U23 worlds.

He is regarded as one of the most talented young amateurs in Ireland, and this year took two stage wins in the 2.2 An Post Rás. He was also a solid 17th in the 1.1 Rund um Köln and tenth in the 1.2 Omloop van het Waasland.

However he knows that to step up a level, he needs to clock up results in bigger races such as the Tour of Britain, and so he has set his sights on riding well there.

“With two fifth place finishes last year [actually fifth and sixth – ed] it makes me want to aim higher and try to get a podium,” he said. “I'll be targeting the bunch sprints and be aiming to have a go each day there is one.”

Bennett comes from Carrick on Suir, the hometown of Sean Kelly, and has been racing on the latter’s team for the past three years. He enjoys the atmosphere there and takes satisfaction from the group performances that the riders have achieved.

“The last few months have given the team some quality successes,” he states. “We had a very strong An Post Ras taking three stage wins and a great 1,2,3 on the final stage. Shane [Archbold] and Aaron [have brought strength to the team, especially in the TT's and bunch sprints: We've worked well as a team this season and the results have followed.”

Bennett hit the deck in a French race shortly before the nationals, thus scuppering his plans for a big ride there.

“It has taken a little time for me to get back on my feet over the last number of weeks,” he explained. “The crash in France knocked me back a bit and it really came at a bad time with the National Champs being just around the corner,” he said. “It left me with a choice to make and I had to do what was right and just listen to the body and hold out on pushing hard in Carlingford.”

His morale was boosted this month in the Suir Valley Three Day, which he led from start to finish and took the final stage. While it is a national event rather than a UCI-ranked contest, his performance there gave him a morale boost and will help him concentrate as he continues his buildup for the Tour of Britain.

The race begins in Peebles on September 15th, slightly under a month from now.

The remainder of the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team for the race is yet to be announced.

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