It was a historic day for Sam Bennett of the Tour de France, and Ronan O’Gara had come to experience that moment.
Ennett became the sixth Irish player to achieve a stage in the Tour de France, entering the Old de Rail sprint finish near his home. The Munster legend is currently head coach of La Rochelle for the top 14 years, and he explained to Off the Ball that he has a front row seat for Bennett’s magical moment.
“The route literally passed our house,” O’Gara said.
“We were on the outside wall, the Irish flag on the neck, the gooseberry pimple, was incredible.”
“They flew old, and then we went back to TV and watched the finish,” he continued.
“It was a great day and I was incredibly proud to see it. When you leave Ireland you will be even more worried if it’s possible.
“I’m not into cycling, but I grew up in the time of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche.”
At stage 10 of the 168.5km, Bennett Lotto put Caleb Ivan ahead of Soudall. Former teammate Peter Sagan finished third for Bora-Hansgrohe.
Bennett’s victory as the sixth Irish player to win the Tour de France, along with Sher Elliott, Zion Kelly, Stephen Roche, Martin Early and Dan Martin.
Although there were no major changes in the general classification, Primos Roglik maintained the overall lead. He claimed the green jersey for Bennett’s victory.