LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett has withdrawn from the 2017 Vuelta a Espana. Sadly the condition that he’d fought so hard for, that took him to the top ten of the Tour de France before illness hit, was not to return for the Kiwi; who made the decision not to start stage 12 of the race.
George Bennett is the first of the LottoNL-Jumbo team to drop out of the Vuelta a Espana, a sensation that will be unfamiliar to the 27 year old. Bennett has been riding grand tours since 2013, when he took to the start line at the Giro d’Italia for RadioShack-Leopard. In all Bennett has started 7 grand tours, including 2 Tours de France, but until this season he had never been forced out of any of them; finishing every grand tour he started. Now, sadly he has been unable to finish two due to his physical condition.
The LottoNL-Jumbo announced in a statement, “The expectation was that the New Zealander was going to improve during the race, as he had started his preparations later after leaving the Tour de France. The contrary seemed to happen. Since Bennett suffered from Pfeiffer’s disease last winter, it was decided not to take risks and take him off course.”
On Twitter, Bennett wrote. “Sad to be leaving la Vuelta. A little too eager to come back after the tour and nothing left to give. Important to look at the big picture.”
“Thanks to @LottoJumbo_road for a great few weeks and looking to my future. Our vuelta is in good hands with some real talent coming up.”
We hope Bennett’s condition can improve enough for the UCI World Road Championships which are coming up from 16th September.