Irish professional cyclist Sam Bennett has made history today as the Bora-Hansgrohe rider claimed stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia, the first Irishman to do so since 1987.
Bennett has been in good form so far in the Giro and earned his first Grand Tour stage win in an enthralling finish.
The 159km stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare climaxed with a last-gasp group in a full-throttle sprint. Bennett’s power and timing saw him snatch it while Britain’s Simon Yates holds onto first place in the overall standings.
Speaking after his victory, Bennett said he was delighted to finally get over the line.
“I feel relieved. I’ve been so close so many times in the Giro. I think to get the timing right was key with so many fast sprinters here.”
The 27-year-old has been a highly touted prospect in Irish circles having claimed a European Junior Points Race Championship in 2008 and represented the Irish national team during the 2009 Tour of Ireland. Now that his first Grand Tour stage has come, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Bennett.