Sam Bennett reveals illness and rapid weight loss at Giro d’Italia

Posted on: May 8th, 2017

Sam Bennett reveals illness and rapid weight loss at Giro d’Italia

Sam Bennett reveals illness and rapid weight loss at Giro d’Italia

Irishman Sam Bennett looking the worse for wear on the Bora-hansgrohe team bus at the Giro d’Italia.


Sam Bennett’s lack of form on the opening days of the Giro d’Italia has been noticeable considering his form so far this year.

A 10th place on stage 1 and two anonymous finishes on Saturday and yesterday – with time losses –will have worried Irish fans.

However, he has revealed in his new Irish Independent Giro Diary that has suffered a bout of sudden illness.

Sam Bennett’s Giro Diary will appear every day in the Irish Independent. You can read the first instalment by following this link.

He lost 3kg overnight, due to a stomach bug, after the opening stage. And during stage 2, though it lasted six hours, he could eat nothing at all.

When he got back to his team bus and had a shower he fell asleep on the floor of the bus. That was followed by an 11-hour sleep overnight.

While feeling slightly better at the start of stage 3 yesterday, he said he really struggled. And he is hopeful today’s rest day can be a lifeline.

Sam Bennett reveals illness and rapid weight loss at Giro d’Italia

Bennett outlines in his diary he put numerous trips to the loo before Friday’s stage down to nerves.

However, when he spent as much time in the bathroom as he did in bed overnight into Saturday morning, he knew he was in trouble.

And “shivering under the duvet” simply confirmed what he already knew.

“Sitting down to breakfast a full three kilos lighter than I had been the previous morning, with a banging headache and a high temperature. I knew I was going to have a hard time today,” he says in his diary for Saturday’s stage 2.

With a six-hour stage ahead and having gone to the loo every two hours the previous night he said he “did the maths” and stuck a loo roll into the team car just in case he needed it mid-stage.

“Thankfully I didn’t need it but a bloated stomach and aching joints left me with absolutely no power and I suffered like a dog all day.”

He said without team mate Rüdiger Selig pacing him for the last 50km he wouldn’t have finished.

“Afterwards, I boarded the team bus, stumbled into the shower, got changed and fell asleep on the floor.”

Trouble eating food

He ate only a bowl of rice on Saturday evening and skipped massage, opting instead to get to bed.

He felt slightly better yesterday, but a mid-stage chat with compatriot Philip Deignan (Team Sky) cooled his jets.

Deignan reminded him to ease off and let his body recover.

The hammer went down in the crosswinds in the last 10km yesterday. So Bennett sat up and finished in a group 5:22 down.

Of yesterday’s stage he said: “Today was hard but it was much better than yesterday. My stomach is still a little bit upset but at least I can handle it now. Yesterday I thought I was going to die.”