Sam Bennet was among Ireland’s most successful international athletes of 2020 but there is no certainty that he will be in action for Team Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Speaking at the launch of NOW TV’s sponsorship of the Dublin Bikes scheme, he has highlighted the proximity to the Tour de France this summer and the hilly nature of the Road Race track in Tokyo.

That it takes in the foothills of Mount Fuji and climbs a total of 5,000 metres on its 234-kilometre course is enough to give pause for thought for a rider who comes to life on the faster sprint segments.

Paris 2024 looks like a much more suitable course but he will be another three years older at that stage and so the opportunity of at least competing at games is making him hold on a decision for now.

“It comes just a week after the Tour de France,” he said. “It’s a lot of travel, there’s the time zone issue, and with Covid, you just don’t know what way the year is going to be.”

“I think it’s something I’ll have to wait a few months before making a decision. The Olympics is something every athlete wants to do, you want to be part of it, you want to experience it.”

Team Ireland has secured ten places in Cycling for the Tokyo Games and Bennet would be a contender for the three-man Road Race team. One from that group will also get to compete in the Time trial event.

There are also places for two each in the Men’s and Women’s Madison races on the Track, with one from each also competing in the Omnium events.

 

Sport for Business Partners