George Bennett is positive at the end of the first 9 days of the Vuelta a Espana. The Kiwi lost time to some of his GC rivals while gaining time on others, and he now arrives at the first rest day in 10th overall.
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It wasn’t exactly the finish to the stage Bennett would have wanted. He and his LottoNL-Jumbo team had ridden a commanding race on the final big climb to the line, and have really come into their own as a unit in this grand tour. Eventually though an attack by Wilco Kelderman proved just one too many.
“It was a really hard day,” Bennett said afterwards. “The boys did a perfect job to help me and Steven. I’m a little frustrated with the final. I did the hard part to make the group of favourites, but got tailed off in the crosswinds in the last 500 metres.”
— Shimano Australia Cycling (@ShimanoOZ) August 28, 2018
Bennett finished 10th on the stage and moved up to 10th overall, 5 seconds and one place behind teammate Steven Kruijswijk; and just 48 seconds behind new leader Simon Yates.
With so much to play for from here there remains a great deal of excitement over where this race could take New Zealand’s most successful grand tour rider. “I think we have survived the first week well and the gaps are still really small. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks to see what we can do.”
So are we George, so are we!