After starring in the star-studded breakaway that took off in stage 6 of the Criterium du Dauphiné, George Bennett made a serious claim to a spot on the LottoNL-Jumbo Tour de France team. After the stage he took some time to chat to RoadCycling.
You never know exactly who will make a successful breakaway attempt in any given stage. One day it will take upwards of half a dozen attempts to get any move to stick, the next the first rider gone will disappear up the road and on the odd occasion not be seen until the finish line.
In George Bennett’s case it was an unusual concoction that made the breakaway of stage 6 of the Criterium du Dauphiné; unusual only in the fact that the breakaway group was full of so many quality riders, star names who you wouldn’t usually allow into the break. Riders of the calibre of Thibaut Pinot, Roman Kreuziger, Jurgen van den Broeck and co don’t usually get a lot of leeway from the powerhouses of the sport; but for some reason Team Sky were either happy with the mixture in the break, or simply unable to bridge the gap and had to let them go.
Despite that, and the enormous size of the breakaway group – that could’ve triggered a few to think they could sit up and cruise, George said that things worked rather well. “We worked pretty well but with an uphill start like that only strong guys are in the move – they never gave us any space so we had to ride full gas all day,” George told RoadCycling.
The critical move came courtesy of Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale, whose acceleration was only matched by the stage winner, Thibaut Pinot. “Was a bit gutted I missed Bardet’s attack,” George said. “At the bottom of the climb I knew he would go but didn’t think it would be so early. The power numbers at this race are ridiculous – I think the hardest I’ve ever seen.”
There is one very good reason for why power numbers are high here: in just a couple of weeks time the Tour de France will get underway and with just a handful of team members being selected by the team George Bennett is just one of several looking to prove his worth. “Everyone is trying to prove themselves for TDF selection and so it’s hard to do much here. Another chance tomorrow to get a real result but for the moment today was good to have in the legs – especially after how hard yesterday was!” George Bennett said.