Irish National Road Races: Sam Bennett claims title

Bennett won the points classification at the 2019 Tour of Turkey
Sam Bennett won three stages of the 2018 Giro d'Italia for Bora-Hansgrohe

Sam Bennett beat fellow escapee Eddie Dunbar in a thrilling finish to the Irish National Road Race championship.

Waterford rider Bennett held-off the challenge of Dunbar in the steep climb to the finish line in Londonderry with Ryan Mullen taking third place.

Bennett, Dunbar and Mark Dowling were leading by over a minute when the race was paused after a traffic collision.

Bennett and Dunbar stayed clear of the field when the action resumed before Bennett won their battle for the line.

Normally considered a sprint specialist, Bora-Hansgrohe rider Bennett dug deep during the final ramp to the finish line on Shipquay Street to beat Team Ineos climber Dunbar by just six seconds.

Dowling, who battled hard to stick with the two WorldTour riders during the breakaway, fell away with one lap remaining and was eventually caught by the peleton.

Trek-Segafredo rider Mullen, who also won the TT title on Thursday, broke away from the chasing group in the closing stages to take the bronze medal.

On Saturday, Alice Sharpe beat fellow leader Imogen Cotter to win the women's senior race with Katharine Smyth taking third place.