Carrickbeg’s Sam Bennett takes centre stage on the podium after winning the National Under-23 Road Cycling Championship in Sligo on Sunday, having finished 8th in the elite race (included are Dominic Jelfs, UVC Aube, France – silver, and Thomas Martin, Eurocycles, Dublin – bronze). Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers also claimed the U18 team title through Simon Ryan, Daniel Bresnan and John Skehan.

Carrickbeg’s Sam Bennett takes centre stage on the podium after winning the National Under-23 Road Cycling Championship in Sligo on Sunday, having finished 8th in the elite race (included are Dominic Jelfs, UVC Aube, France – silver, and Thomas Martin, Eurocycles, Dublin – bronze). Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers also claimed the U18 team title through Simon Ryan, Daniel Bresnan and John Skehan.

Carrick-on-Suir teenager Sam Bennett, who won the Irish national Under-23 Road Race Championship on Sunday, is to join the professional ranks as a stagiaire with the Francaise des Jeux team.

Speaking to IrishProCycling.com, the 19-year-old confirmed he will join the French outfit in August having impressed team manager and former Tour star Marc Madiot who has been following his progress at the amateur VC La Pomme club, including his final stage win in the Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour in France in May.

“It was a shock to the system. It just came out of nowhere,” said the Carrick Wheelers clubman, who returned to his base in Marseille on Monday with an extra spring in his step.

Such is his ambition, however, that he admitted to being slightly disappointed with his eighth place finish in Sunday’s elite race in Sligo – having been aiming for the top-three. The national champion’s jersey was won by Liverpool-born Irish passport-holder Matt Brammeier of the An Post Grant Thornton M Donnelly Sean Kelly team, with defending champion Nicholas Roche, who starts his second Tour de France in Rotterdam on Saturday, a close second.

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