"I’m never afraid to race. If there’s something to fight for, I'm always going to fight for it" - Ben Healy reflects on breakthrough early season form

It's fair to say that very few riders in the whole of the peloton have been as exciting and interesting in the first half of 2023 as EF Education-EasyPost's Ben Healy. The Irishman has been a revelation and now he's reflected on his impressive form.

“I knew it was going to be a good year but to what extent, I don't think I could have ever predicted. I never really expected to be as competitive as I was in the Ardennes and the Giro d'Italia this year," he explains to Rouleur. "At the start of the season I set out with a goal of a Giro stage win, but I still felt like I was reaching for that goal a little bit. I knew I’d worked hard, but I didn’t think it would pay off like this.”

Alongside completing his goal of taking a Giro stage win, Healy also impressed in the Classics. Runner-up at Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race, the Irishman also came fourth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. “I've now shown that the way I race can create those results, but I’ve always believed in the way that I raced. I had a few difficult moments but ultimately I always enjoy racing my bike,” Healy says. “When I won that stage of the Giro d’Italia, I knew how I liked to race and I knew the profile of the course was hard. I hoped someone would come with me but I was solo and I wanted to commit to the move and I knew it was a 50km time trial to the finish. I had good legs and it worked out in the end.”

“At Brabantse Pijl when I finished second I was just getting a bit excited. I was at the front of a race with amazing legs and just racing almost stupidly,” he continues. “It's actually something I've got to learn, to try and settle down to the race and really give it one good go to get away, rather than all these little attacks that don't go anywhere. That's just part of racing. I think the more times I’m in that sort of situation the more I can learn.”

This never say die, attacking spirit has caused some problems for Healy, as seen at the Giro d'Italia with the INEOS Grenadiers becoming increasingly frustrated. “I’m never afraid to race. If there’s something to fight for, I'm always going to fight for it. I will go about it in the way that I think is best for me," he answers. "That's what I was doing that day as well, not letting Ineos or Pinot ruffle me and going with the plan we had at the start of the day.”

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