Bray People

FOMO sets in as sec­ond wave lands but Green ma­chine brings hope

- David looby david.looby@peo­ple­ Sports · County Tipperary · Paris · Conor McGregor · Peter Sagan · Slovakia · Sam Bennett · Carrick-on-Suir · Sean Kelly · Seán Kelly

JOY is in short sup­ply th­ese days on the news but the mo­ment Sam Ben­nett crossed the line right arm aloft at the Champs Elysée on Sun­day, a shock of the stuff coursed through my body.

As a late to cy­cling MAMIL (Mid­dle Aged Man In Ly­cra), I couldn’t help but be cap­ti­vated by the Tip­per­ary man who took on the great­est sprint­ers in the world and won.

His tear­ful, over­whelmed re­ac­tion hav­ing won the green jersey would move any­one with a beat­ing heart and it cer­tainly shook mine.

The 29-year-old from Car­rick-on-Suir be­came the first Ir­ish rider to win in Paris and only the fifth rider in his­tory to win there in the green jersey. Hav­ing ne­go­ti­ated hills you wouldn’t put a goat on last Saturday, Ben­nett some­how man­aged to make a burst for the line at the last, strain­ing ev­ery sinew and fi­bre of his be­ing to will him­self and his fam­ily, friends, team and coun­try - over the line in the process.

In a week in which The Lit­tle Fella was over­joyed to be given a Raleigh bike for his birthday; one which has re­sulted in yours truly and his sis­ter out on the roads of our home­town ev­ery evening, it was in­spi­ra­tional to see in real time what some­one can achieve when they ded­i­cate them­selves to what they’re best at.

The scenes in Car­rick-on-Suir were fan­tas­tic to be­hold Sun­day night. OK so­cial distancing was nowhere to be seen in the pub, but see­ing his proud fa­ther – half soaked in cham­pagne – talk­ing about his pride in his son and his mother and brother: the sheer emo­tion in their voices, wish­ing they could be by his side to hug and shout joy­fully with him to the stars and sky above, was some­thing to be­hold.

The fact that Sean Kelly, who was the

last Ir­ish rider to win a green jersey in the tour, also hails from Car­rick, proves once more the power pos­i­tive role mod­els can have on oth­ers.

Ben­nett’s hu­mil­ity in his post cy­cle in­ter­view in which he said: ‘It’s a dream I never re­ally knew I had be­cause I never thought I’d be good enough to do it,’ was such a breath of fresh air in the vain world of sport we all too of­ten come across, (cough Conor Mc­Gre­gor).

Ben­nett’s grat­i­tude to his team and re­lief in fi­nally beat­ing his clos­est ri­val Peter Sa­gan from Slo­vakia, af­ter so long, was pal­pa­ble.

This was goose­bumps, spine tin­gling stuff.

It went on the more he spoke: ‘I’ll never be the next Seán Kelly, plain and sim­ple, I’m not that good. I’m still proud to do part of what he’s achieved.’

HOLY COM­MU­NION is caus­ing an un­holy row in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try th­ese days. There is a def­i­nite Fear Of Miss­ing Out (FOMO) fac­tor as some parishes al­low the whole fam­ily to at­tend the big day, while in other parishes only one par­ent is al­lowed to at­tend.

The talk of the swim­ming class cafe and school run has been all about the Com­mu­nion.

Priests are com­ing up against irate par­ents as one rule ap­plies for one church, while an­other ap­plies to a neigh­bour­ing parish.

In a year in which chil­dren and par­ents have had to put up with so much dis­ap­point­ment, this in­con­sis­tency is the fi­nal straw for some and one won­ders if there will be far reach­ing con­se­quences as fa­tigue and FOMO anger set in.

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 ??  ?? The iconic im­age of Sam Ben­nett cross­ing the line, win­ning the Paris stage.
The iconic im­age of Sam Ben­nett cross­ing the line, win­ning the Paris stage.

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