Sam Bennett Cycling

Kanturk on tenterhooks as Bennett leads the way to Paris


Excitement is building in Kanturk as everyone roots for Sam Bennett as he hurtles towards the finish line of the Tour de France in Paris.

By Wednesday afternoon, the man who ‘earned his spurs’ with the cycling club in Kanturk had stretched his lead in his bid to capture one of the most coveted green jerseys in world cycling.

With a strong ride starting in Grenoble, the Tipperary native increased his lead to 47 points over his nearest challenger, Peter Sagan, with third placed Matteo Trentin pushed to a further 15 points back. This leaves Bennett very much in poll position to claim the title of best sprinter of the Tour when they reach Paris on Sunday.

It was fate and chance that brought Sam to the O’Leary Stone Cycling Club (Then the Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club) in Kanturk as Dan Curtin, who trains the cyclists, outlined to The Corkman.

Dan’s brother in law, Bernard Guaghan from Glanmire, was on holiday with his family in Tramore in 2002. His son Barnard became friendly with a young lad from Carrick on Suir called Sam Bennett. While chatting about their mutual interest in cycling, Sam mentioned that there were no youth races around his home area, so Barnard invited him to visit the Kanturk Club, which he joined shortly afterwards and subsequently travelled to Kanturk every weekend for training.

In cycling circles the Kanturk Club has a sterling reputation everywhere they compete and young cyclists travel from all over the country to avail of the superb coaching at the Club.

“Sam showed great promise from the start, he was always a sprinter,” Dan Curtin told The Corkman. “He was constantly improving, he put in the effort, he certainly deserves to be as successful as he is and it’s fantastic to see how well he’s doing in the Tour” Dan said.

“For us, it’s really rewarding, it’s unreal, like a dream come true. We are only a handy sized club and to see lads like Sam and Eddie Dunbar at the top of their game is brilliant,” he added.

Dan Curtin reckoned it would take a big mishap at this stage to deny Sam the big prize. “He won’t be beaten, he’ll bring home that green jersey, and that’s what he started in – the green Jersey of the Kanturk Club! We all wish him the very best, and every cyclist in Ireland will be looking up to him now.”

Tuesday was touted as the Tour’s toughest day, cycling up the Alps, and the experts were saying Bennett would be truly tested. However, on Tuesday and again on Wednesday in the Alps Bennett came through strongly, increasing his lead on his nearest sprint rivals.

Today, Thursday, is the last of the Alpine stages before the peloton heads for Paris and the finish line. If Bennett can hold on to that lead it will be a famous victory, celebrated across Ireland and especially in Kanturk, where he started his race cycling days.

U14 Team Kanturk Credit Union

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett Cycling