Living the dream: Carrick’s world cycing star Sam Bennett signs for boyhood heroes
The world’s leading cyclist – Carrick-on-Suir’s Sam Bennett – has quick-stepped his way into one of the leading international teams, and he’s brought the ‘Flying Mullet’ with him.
Sam Bennett (29) finally put months of speculation to bed by signing a two-year contract with one of pro-cycling’s biggest teams, Belgian outfit Deceuninck-QuickStep, for the next two seasons.
The biggest surprise in all this is he is bringing his best mate and sprint lead-out man with him. New Zealander, Shane ‘Flying Mullet’ Archibold has ridden with Sam since their days in the An Post Sean Kelly team. He too joins the Belgian outfit on a two-year deal.
The Deceunicnk-QuickStep team prides itself on having the world’s best sprinters such as Cavendish and Viviani and it was no secret they have been eyeing up Bennett ever since he was overlooked by his former team Bora, for a spot in last summer’s Tour De France.
Since then, the Carrick man, a fan favourite around the world, has been the hottest property in cycling, with his 16 wins this season only cementing that position. And Bennett says this is a move he could only have dreamed of when he started out on his pro career.
“I am delighted to get to sign with Deceuninck-QuickStep, the team I had a poster of on my wall when I was a kid,” he said.
“I remember going to a race with An Post and seeing Quick-Step at races and I was intimidated by such a big team. I never thought I would be good enough to sign for them, so be able to say that I am riding for them is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get to work with the guys and starting working and racing with them.
“It is a daunting task to race for this team, but it is motivating and a challenge, having been with my previous team for so long and I feel refreshed.”