Sam Bennett looking to sign off season on a high note in China

Cycling round-up: Bennett finishes sixth on stage two; Mia Griffin shows strong return in China

Sam Bennett will look to Saturday’s third stage of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi to try to end his season on a high note, with Friday’s sprint finish not going as well as he had hoped.

The Carrick-on-Suir rider has made a return to competition after a month away from racing, with illness sidelining him, and was encouraged by his third place on Thursday’s opening leg. However he had to be satisfied with sixth on Friday, with the Italian Jonathan Milan (Bahrain-Victorious) quickest in the bunch sprint.

Saturday’s race to Nanning includes a second category climb 19km from the finish, followed by a flat run in to the line.

Elsewhere in China, Mia Griffin had a strong return to international competition this week, taking eighth on Thursday’s opening stage of the Tour of Chongming Island.

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The Kilkenny rider crashed hard during Paris-Roubaix Femmes in April and suffered a concussion, missing several months of racing. Two stage wins in the Rás na mBan in September were encouraging, with her eighth place on Thursday in the women’s WorldTour event showing further progression.

Israel Premier Tech Roland team-mate Alice Sharpe was 12th on the stage. They both finish in the main bunch on Friday and will hope to be to the fore on Saturday’s concluding stage.

Meanwhile, Lara Gillespie and Orla Walsh have been confirmed as part of this year’s UCI Track Champion’s League series, competing in the endurance and sprint categories respectively. Gillespie won two European champion titles this year, while Walsh is a multiple national champion racing out of the UCI’s base in Switzerland.

There are five rounds between October 21st and November 11th, with Mallorca, Berlin, St Quentin-en-Yvelines and London the venues.

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