Sam Bennett misses out on selection for Tour de France 

Ireland’s Sam Bennett has been left out of the Bora-Hansgrohe eight-man roster for this year’s Tour de France which gets underway in Copenhagen on Friday
Sam Bennett misses out on selection for Tour de France 

MISSING OUT: Ireland's Sam Bennett has been left out of his team for the Tour de France. Pic: Bas Czerwinski / AFP

Ireland’s Sam Bennett has been left out of the Bora-Hansgrohe eight-man roster for this year’s Tour de France which gets underway in Copenhagen on Friday.

The 31-year old Irishman will be bitterly disappointed at that development as the team opted instead to build a squad around their General Classification hopeful Aleksandr Vlasov.

And in a further blow to followers of Irish cycling, Ryan Mullen was also omitted from the line-up which was confirmed via the team’s Band of Brothers podcast yesterday.

There, Team Manager Ralph Denk and Sporting Director Rolf Aldag outlined their strategy for the race which very much centred around giving Vlasov as much support as possible.

That is despite him contracting the Covid-19 virus recently, though he is apparently well enough to start.

Around him are two other riders who recently contracted the virus, Max Schachmann and Marco Haller, with the team stating they are confident all three riders are fully recovered.

Nils Politt, who won the German road race title at the weekend, is also picked as are fellow German Lennard Kämna and Austrian Patrick Konrad – with that trio all having won Tour de France stages during their careers. Felix Großschartner, who has just won the Austrian TT and road race titles, was an obvious choice.

Completing their roster is Dutch fastman Danny van Poppel. He is a rider in a similar mould to Bennett, and has been going as well if not better than the Irishman of late.

Not since he won two stages and the green jersey in 2020 has Bennett been back at the world’s biggest race, and that will come as a bitter blow to him.

Last year he was left out of the team in very controversial circumstances by Patrick Lefevre, with the Belgian suggesting Bennett fabricated a knee injury.

Riding for Deceuninck-QuickStep at the time, Bennett didn’t finish a race after May 9th and was on the receiving end of some unsavoury comments from Lefevre at the time.

Such comments provoked Bennett to leave the team in the winter and he returned to the German registered squad where he looked to have made a full recovery, both physically and mentally.

He looked to be back to his best last month when he won the one-day Eschborn-Frankfurt but that has been his sole victory this term.

Both Mullen and Bennett were unavailable for comment.

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