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Cycling | Bennett win in Tour de France crucial for Irish cycling - Sean Kelly

Sam Bennett's success in winning the Green Jersey in this year's Tour de France, will have a significant impact on Irish cycling, according to Irish legend Sean Kelly.

Kelly was speaking to RTÉ in the wake of Bennett's sprint to victory on the Champs-Elysees in the final stage of the tournament yesterday.

Bennett had already secured the points classification at the intermediate sprint of the 122km stage from Mantes-la-Jolie, overcoming world champion Mads Pedersen after a remarkable sprint in Paris.

Kelly, feels the impact of the success will be significant.

"Sam, he has a huge amount of followers. And everybody in cycling, and outside of cycling, they've all got behind him. We've seen that on social media.

"It's amazing to see that he's won the green jersey, he's won two stages, and I'm just so happy for him because I had quite a lot of contact with him when he was in the An Post/Chain Reaction team.

"When you take somebody, and you try to take them along for a number of years, and you see him succeeding when he goes into the top ranks... it's just been a great tour.

"I think it's going to be really important for Irish cycling because now, with the exposure we're getting at home, the younger generation, I think, will get more into cycling, and that's what we need.

"The grassroots, we need to get more and more involved in the racing end. We've been lacking that, because of other other sports. Cycling Ireland will have to take advantage of this, and promote cycling a bit more.

"We will see the fruit of this, with more riders maybe in five or six years, because of the achievements of Sam Bennett in this Tour de France."

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