George Bennett has made it clear the targets for 2018 are the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, photo Don Kennedy

This year will see George Bennett of LottoNL-Jumbo target two grand tours, but not this year’s Tour de France.  Bennett is set to line up at the Giro d’Italia in May, while also tackling the Grand Tour-finale the Vuelta a Espana towards the end of August.

The season has started well for George Bennett.  4th at the National Road Championships in Napier and then 11th after an aggressive showing at the Santos Tour Down Under have been signs of good things to come.  This year’s things to come will not include the Tour de France, but he will most certainly be targeting the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.  Speaking to Cyclingnews Bennett said, “The Giro is 100 per cent GC focus and probably the Vuelta as well at this stage.”

“That is the plan and I am quite looking forward to starting a Grand Tour as a GC leader and having a bit of a team around me.  It looks like a really cool course actually so I am quite excited.”

At the Giro d’Italia Bennett is likely to team up with Robert Gesink once again.  The pair have proven to be something of a dynamic duo working together, with one never far from the front of the action when the roads go up.  While Bennett and Gesink are set to target the Giro, teammates Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic will be likely to don team colours at the Tour de France in July.

But beyond the Giro and Vuelta, Bennett also has his eyes on the prospect of the World Championships in Innsbruck this year.  The hilly circuit is set to be more to his liking as a climber and he has eyes on potentially sneaking into the top ten.  “I am quite excited about the Worlds this year because it has been a while since I have ridden it and it is probably a course you get once a decade or something,” Bennett said.  “I am not saying I am in contention, but a result for me is top-ten [in Innsbruck].  That would be an amazing result.  It is probably the only course I am going to get close to that.”

Il Lombardia is also set to be on the cards after the Vuelta a Espana in what will be an action packed latter half of the season for the Kiwi climber.  We wish George all the best as he builds up to the Giro d’Italia which begins on 4th May in Jerusalem, Israel.

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