Track Cycling

Irish sprint star Bennett admits dilemma over Tokyo 2020 road race participation –

Sam Bennett won the points classification at the 2020 Tour de France ©Getty Images

Irish star Sam Bennett has admitted he faces a dilemma over whether to include the Tokyo 2020 Olympic road race as part of his plans for the upcoming season.

Bennett enjoyed success in major races during the coronavirus-impacted 2020 cycling season.

The 30-year-old claimed two stage wins at the Tour de France and emerged as the winner of the green jersey points classification.

Bennett then secured a stage victory at the Vuelta a España.

The sprint star told the Irish Mirror he was targeting further success this year at Milan-San Remo, the Tour de France and the World Championships in Flanders.

He expressed doubt over whether Tokyo 2020 would feature in his plans, with the route favouring climbers over sprinters.

“The Olympics is a weird one,” Bennett told the Irish Mirror.

“It’s not a course that will really suit me, it’s more for the climbers.

“So do I target it?

“Do I lose more weight to be better ready for it?

“Or do I wait until Paris, which is more of a sprinters course?

“But then I’m older and don’t know if I’ll have the speed anymore.

“It’s a tough one.

“Riding for your country and for your team are totally different.

“I would find it really sad if I went through this career and never experienced an Olympics.”

The hilly route could dissuade sprinters from contesting the men's road race at tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
The hilly route could dissuade sprinters from contesting the men’s road race at tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The men’s 234-kilometre road race will feature climbs of the lower slopes of Mount Fuji.

The race will end at Fuji International Speedway.

The men’s road race will feature a total of 130 riders.

Ireland would be able to field three riders in the road race, with quota places having been allocated at the end of 2019.

The race is scheduled to take place on July 24, the first competition day of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Racing will take place days after the 2021 Tour de France concludes in Paris, with the Grand Tour scheduled to run from June 26 to July 18.