Irish rider Sam Bennett has said it would be “fantastic” to ride the Tour de France, after winning his second professional race.
Speaking after he sealed his second victory of the season in the Rund um Köln, Bennett said "it would be fantastic to be in the Tour de France, but I’m still a neo pro, and it’s a lot to ask of me, my first year."
He said that although his team NetApp Endura, had been given an wild card entry to the Tour, "I can’t really expect to be selected, because there are so many fantastic riders on the team [...] they’re going to be trying to do something in the mountains for sure."
The 23-year-old Bennett finished ahead of Barry Markus of (Belkin) and Gerald Ciolek (MTN - Qhubeka), on a time of 4 hours 39 minutes 28 seconds.
"My right hamstring was giving me a few twitches, as if it was going to cramp. But it was all good" - Sam Bennett
Speaking after the race, Bennett said that he had been concerned he had over-exerted himself early in the race, and that this might prove costly.
“I thought I was after doing a bit too much on the climbs,” Bennett said. “Because [as] I was coming in the last couple of ‘k’, my right hamstring was giving me a few twitches, as if it was going to cramp. But it was all good.”
Bennett admitted he had been concerned that he had left his move too late, as the group came into a late headwind.
"It was a block headwind," he said. "The guys jumped at 200m and I waited until 100m, I was coming fast but I nearly left it too late."
He praised his teammates, and reiterated his pleasure at having made the move to NetApp Endura.
"I get absolutely fantastic support from the team," Bennett said. "It was definitely one of the best moves of my career."
Jan Barta won the race previously for the team, in 2012.