Sam Bennett is a professional cyclist who currently races for BORA-hansgrohe. He is known as one of the best sprinters in the current peloton, having in his palmarès stages on all three Grand Tours, aswell as having won the green jersey at the 2020 Tour de France. It features aswell over 50 wins including World Tour classics such as the Brugge-De Panne Classic and Eschborn-Frankfurt.
Name: Sam Bennett
Birthday: 16 October 1990
Birthplace: Wervik, Belgium
Turned Pro: 2011
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Sam Bennett was born on the 16th of October 1990 in Menen, Belgium. Despite having been born in Flandres, he's an Irish citizen . His father was a professional football player for the Eendracht Wervik team, but at the age of 4 Bennett moved to Ireland. He joined the French Vélo-Club La Pomme Marseille in 2007 who had scouted him.
Bennett currently has a contract that stands until 2023 with a salary of approximately €1 million euros per season. At the 2021 UAE Tour, in stage 4, he had a maximum power output of 1595 watts according to Velon which makes him one of the riders with the highest power in the peloton. He got married to his partner Tara Fogarty in 2020.
In 2008 he became junior national champion of Ireland, and throughout 2009 and 2010 he won several races in France and Ireland, which saw him on a stagiaire role at the end of the season for Francaise des Jeux, however he didn't get to race for the French outfit. In 2011 he turned pro with the An Post team, where he took his first pro win in the GP van de stad Geel, and rode a mostly under-23 and secondary European calendar.
In 2012 and 2013 he continued with the Irish continental outfit. In his final season he won two stages at the An Post Ras but most importantly took a win at the Tour of Britain alongside two 2nd places, mostly performing in the hilly stages. This led to Bennett being contacted and signing with Team NetApp - Endura in 2014, a Pro Continental team which would see him race a bigger calendar. The change was to the benefit of both however, with him winning the Clasica de Almeria, Run um Köln and a stage at the Bayern Rundfahrt that year, on all occasions beating World Tour competition.
In 2015 BORA entered the team as a main sponsor, and Bennett was a leading sprinter. He won a stage early in the year at the Tour of Qatar against big names, he also won 2 stages at the Bayern Rundfahrt, Paris-Bourges and another stage at the Arctic Race of Norway. This year Bennett also made his debut at the Tour de France, but struggled to get results. In 2016 he took wins at the Critérium Internacional, Giro della Toscana and Paris-Bourges, alongside another Tour de France stint here he could only crack the Top10 on one occasions.
In 2017 however the German team was heavily invested in, and not only got a World Tour license but the presence of World Champion Peter Sagan to reinforce the sprinter field. Bennett took a win at Paris-Nice earlier in the year, and his presence at the Grand Tours - this year, the Giro d'Italia - was quite different, as he rode to stage podiums on three occasions. He took additional wins at the Tour of Slovenia (2), Czech Cyclling Tour (2), the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and 4 stage wins at the World Tour Tour of Turkey.
In 2018 Bennett returned to the Giro and finally accomplished his first Grand Tour win, with a bunch sprint finale at Praia a Mare on stage 7. He won another stage to Imola later in the race, and the final sprint again in Roma. Right after the Giro he won the Rund um Köln, and later in the year he took another 3 stage wins at the Tour of Turkey which kept it's World Tour status, effectively boosting Bennett's value. In 2019 he kept his sprinter role in the team, early in the year taking victories at the Vuelta a San Juan, UAE Tour, Paris-Nice and the Tour of Turkey.
It was a very successful year, riding into wins at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the national championships and the first 3 consecutive stages at the BinckBank Tour where he also led a lot of the race. His main goal for the season was to be the Vuelta a Espana, where he won two stages and finished 2nd on 4 other occasions. He caught the attention and was eventually signed by Deceuninck - QuickStep who looked to reinforce their sprinter field. It was a collaboration that started off strong, with a win on the first race day at the Tour Down Under - and another at the Race Torquay.
Following the Covid-19 break Bennett took wins at the Vuelta a Burgos and Tour de Wallonie before riding the Tour de France, where he was given the role and support as the head sprinter, and rode into two stage wins in Ile de Ré and Paris, riding into the green jersey in Paris. Bennett then also rode the entire Vuelta a Espana, winning the 4th stage. 2021 started with similar success, with 2 wins at the UAE Tour, Paris-Nice and Volta ao Algarve, alongside another World Tour triumph at the Brugge-De Panne Classic.
Everything would change after however as he suffered a knee injury. The injury, along disputes which Patrick Lefevere made public, saw the Irishman out of the Tour de France as Mark Cavendish stepped in, but also saw him only race with the team on three other occasions where he did not complete the races. Bennett left Quick-Step on bad terms, signing with BORA-hansgrohe where he broke through in the World Tour.
2022 was however a complicated season where the effects of his injury kept preventing him from riding at his best level. Bennett had an incredibly strong leadout specially headed by Danny van Poppel, who assisted him to win the Eschborn-Frankfurt classic in May. Bennett had shown some improvements, but he lacked the form, which saw him struggle through any type of climb, something which was not the case in the past. He decided together with BORA to skip the Tour de France and instead focus on the Vuelta a Espana.
Bennett finished the European Championships in 5th place, but at the Vuelta a Espana it clicked together, with the Irishman winning stages 2 and 3 that saw bunch sprints. Bennett was in the lead of the points classification throughout the first week, but was forced to abandon the race before stage 10 as he tested positive for Covid-19. However, an aggressive race and 3rd place at Paris-Tours in the final day of his season saw him show his best form since rejoining BORA.
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