Ben Healy returns to Amstel

After finishing second last year, our Irish racer wants to go one better at the Dutch classic

April 13, 2024

Ben Healy’s life changed forever when he finished second at last year’s Amstel Gold Race.

Over the course of one very long afternoon, the 22-year-old rider, best known in the peloton for his DIY fashion sense, art-school friends, and for tinkering with his aero set up, became a global superstar. Later that week, he backed up his second-place at Amstel with a fourth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and then went to his first ever grand tour and won a stage at the Giro. All in all, Ben won five races last year, including a stage at the Tour of Luxembourg and his country’s national championships.

Now, he is back at Amstel. No one is going to tell him that he can’t go one better this year. The day before the Ardennes classics get underway, we sat down with Ben in the team hotel in Maastricht.

Welcome to the Netherlands, Ben. How does it feel to be back at the Amstel Gold Race?

I am super excited. After last year, this race means a lot to me. It is really cool to be back. We were doing our recon, and I was just remembering some of the memories from last year. I am excited to race again. I know I have done the work. We had a really great race last week at Pays de la Loire with Marijn. This past week, I have just taken it super easy to rest up and get ready for this. Hopefully the legs are going to be there on Sunday. I think it is going to be a hard race again, but that is something that suits me. I am looking forward to it.

How did your life change after last year’s result here?

I am still the same person. I am still doing the exact same thing. There is maybe a bit more responsibility for me in the team but that is something that I have always wanted. So it hasn’t changed much. I still live the same. I still work the same. Maybe just a few more people know my name now.

Is fame surreal sometimes?

100%. Riding around today, loads of people knew my name and had all these pictures for me to sign and stuff. It is really cool and a bit crazy at the same time.

How do you keep grounded?

That is a tricky one. I just do me, you know—nothing too crazy. I am not driving around in a Lamborghini or anything. I just keep doing what I need to do. I like to be outdoors, to be an active person, seeing friends and just doing some more normal things other than just riding my bike. I have a dog at home and spend a lot of time outdoors or in cafes with my friends, just mincing about really.

You have had to have a lot of belief in yourself to get to where you are now. From where does that confidence come?

I don’t know if it is self confidence or perseverance. I don’t think I really need to have a lot of self-confidence, because I love riding my bike. This is what I like doing. I enjoy working hard. I enjoy progression. I enjoy feeling that I am getting better every day and then you just come to the races and it is what it is, you know. If I wasn’t that good, then I think I would do the same. It is just a bonus that I get to race at a pretty high level and com

What do you like about the Ardennes classics?

I kind of had my breakout here last year and the parcours of these races really suit me. What you do well at is always a lot more fun, isn’t it?

What’s next after Amstel?

I do Liège and Fleche as well. I worked hard to be in my best shape for these races and made them a big goal this year. Hopefully I can race pretty well over the next week. Then, I’ll focus on making it to the Tour. I have got to get to the start line first. The Tour is the biggest race that there is, so to do my first Tour would be really good. After that there is the Olympics and the worlds as well, but I want to get to the Tour first.

Good luck in the Ardennes, Ben!

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