Sam Bennett given green light to return to racing following Covid scare

Irish sprinter’s coach indicates that rider has made progress and should return to competition in October

Although Sam Bennett expressed uncertainty earlier this month if he will be able to compete again this season due to a complicated recovery from Covid-19, things appear to be back on track.

The Irish sprinter’s coach, Dan Lorang, has confirmed to The Irish Times that Bennett has made progress and that he should indeed return to racing in the first half of October.

Three events are provisionally scheduled, beginning with the 1.Pro-ranked Sparkassen Münsterland Giro on Sunday, October 3rd. The 1.1 Paris-Bourges follows three days later, with the third event being the 1.Pro Paris-Tours race on Saturday, October 9th.

Bennett took two stage wins in the Vuelta a España in September but then had to withdraw prior to stage 10 following a positive test for Covid-19.


The all-clear

While his symptoms were mild, his return to racing didn’t go as expected.

“The recovery is kind of a strange one because initially I didn’t feel bad at all,” he said a fortnight ago. “After I think eight days, I had a negative PCR and went to get all the heart checks, get the lungs checked, got the blood test. I got the all-clear.

“The problem was that I started back training and the energy was just not there. I tried three hours, but I was completely out of it after two hours. I did a 3½ [hour ride], then I had to take another two, three days off.”

He admitted at the time that his Bora-hansgrohe team may have called an end to his season if things didn’t improve.

However, things have progressed better since then. All going to plan, he will notch up those three race days prior to the end of the season. Whether or not he has the form to chase results, logging more racing kilometres should stand to him in 2023 provided he has fully recovered from the virus.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling