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VN news ticker: Bennett going for green at Tour de France; Ewan to race Down Under with national team

Here's the news making headlines on Thursday, December 15.

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Sam Bennett going for green jersey at Tour de France

Sam Bennett is going back to the Tour de France in 2023, and he’s looking to wind the clock back to his last appearance at the race in 2020.

The Irish sprinter is hoping to bring Bora-Hansgrohe the green jersey after turning a page on a difficult 2021 season with Quick-Step and refining his mojo with the Bora team that boosted him to the front of the pack through the end of last decade.

“I think it’s possible [to win green]. I did it before and there’s no reason why I can’t do it again. Everything seems to be coming back into place,” Bennett said this week.

“There are eight sprints. Out of a possible eight sprints some might be hillier towards the end and trying to get there it’s going to be hard, but I think I have to believe it as well. I wouldn’t be the rider I am today if I didn’t believe that I was able to do it. And it’s not like I’m going into unknown territory where I didn’t do it before I’ve done it. So why not?”

Bennett will form part of a multi-pronged approach to the 2023 Tour for Bora-Hansgrohe.

Emanuel Buchmann and Giro d’Italia champion Jai Hindley will race for GC while Bennett and his leadout unit bumps bars with the likes of Fabio Jakobsen and Jasper Philipsen in the bunch sprints.

After winning the Tour’s green jersey in 2020, Bennett was injured and unable to race last year and was not selected this season. The Irishman is hoping his return to form at the close of 2022 will put him back into the Tour winner’s circle next summer.

“I think that was probably one of the most frustrating years of my career because it was there for me, and I couldn’t make use of it,” he said. “I think it was a frustrating year but, in the end, I got back up and running and I’m motivated for next season.”

Caleb Ewan to race Tour Down Under with national team

Caleb Ewan will look for TDU win number nine with the Australian national team.

Caleb Ewan will return to the Santos Tour Down Under wearing an unexpected jersey next month.

Het Laatste Nieuws reports the pocket rocket speedster will race for a 10th stage victory at his home Tour with the Australian national team after his newly relegated Lotto-Dstny squad opted out of the long flight Down Under. After being dropped out of the WorldTour and into the ProTeam division this winter, the Belgian crew is able to elect out of racing certain events.

HLN reports Ewan and his Lotto teammates Harry Sweeny and Jarrad Drizners will all race the Australian nationals at the start of January. Ewan and Drizners will then stay on to race the Tour Down Under (January 17-22) and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race (January 29) with the Australian national team.