Top 5 finish for Sam Bennett in European Championships Road Race

Orla Walsh sets a new National Record

(Photo by Drew Kaplan)

Sam Bennett sprinted to 5th place today in the road race at the European Championships in Munich. After 209km of racing it came down to a sprint and without a lead-out man, Bennett battled to an impressive 5th place. 

The other riders on the team played a crucial role in the race keeping Bennett well positioned however, in the final stages of the race his teammates Ryan Mullen and Rory Townsend got caught up in several crashes and was unable to lead him out into the final sprint. Fabio Jakobsen of the Netherlands proved strongest in the end with silver going to France’s Arnaud Demare and bronze to Belgium’s Tim Merlier. 

Commenting on the work that the team put in, Bennett said:

“They did a perfect job today. They looked after me the whole way through.

“They always kept me really well positioned but with the minimal amount of effort, and I just want to thank all the boys for the super ride they did today.”

Speaking after the race, Bennett said: 

“It was great to be back in the mix again. A bit upset with myself that I didn’t try to take Fabio’s wheel behind Demare. I kinda gambled a bit to see if maybe they would go too early and I could come later, but in the end, my team-mate from BORA-hansgrohe, Danny van Poppel, did an amazing leadout for Fabio and they ended up getting the win. 

“I think I was in the right place, but I needed to be one or two places up for me to get a clean run at it. We’ll take fifth. It’s progress on the road back to the highest level.”

The rest of the Irish team finished further down the field after putting in huge efforts throughout the race - Rory Townsend 40th, Ryan Mullen 72nd, Eddie Dunbar 90th and Matthew Teggart 108th.

(Photo by Drew Kaplan)

Back at the track, Orla Walsh set a new national record in the flying 200 to qualify for the 1/8 finals. Walsh produced a time of 10.900 beating the previous record of 10.994 which was set by Robyn Stewart in 2017. In the 1/8 final, Walsh was knocked out by multiple World Champion Lea Friedrich and ultimately finished in 13th place overall. 

Delighted with her record-breaking performance, Walsh said:

“I’m feeling very good. I’ve known for a while now that I could do that time – sub 11 time and I just hadn’t done it on the day in a race so I’m really happy to finally do the 10.9. It would’ve placed me 13th in the seeding.

“I was up against Lea, the German who is a multiple World Champion and she has all sorts of accolades to her name, so I tried my best on this track, but she was the stronger rider so then I finished 13th overall.”

(Photo by Drew Kaplan)

Mia Griffin was also in action this evening competing in the points race where she produced a top 10 finish in the event. It was her first time competing in this event at a major championship and held her own against some big names. Despite her efforts to gain a lap, Griffin finished on 7 points after picking up some minor points in the 5th, 6th and 11th sprints. 

Griffin was happy with her 9th place finish and is looking forward to racing in the Madison on Tuesday. 

“I’m pretty happy with that. It’s my first points race at Euros or at a major championship so I’m quite happy other than the fact that I didn’t get a lap gain, but I tried in many moves but it just didn’t seem to happen but I scored a few point and I’m pretty happy with how the ride went,” she said.

Looking ahead at the Madison, Griffin added:

“I think it’s going to be really hectic on the 200 (metre track) but I also think it’s going to be a brilliant race and a fast race. Because you have the recoveries and it’s the same length as the points race then it’s going to be a sprint the whole time so I’m looking forward to the chaos of it.”



Sam Bennett - 5th

Rory Townsend - 40th

Ryan Mullen - 72nd

Eddie Dunbar - 90th

Matthew Teggart - 108th


Orla Walsh Sprint – 13th

Mia Griffin Points Race Final – 9th



12:30 – Omnium Scratch Race 7.5km (Emily Kay) 

14:53 – Omnium Tempo Race 7.5km 

16:05 – Omnium Elimination Race  

17:47 – Omnium Points Race 25km 

National Record subject to ratification