George Bennett has abandoned the 2017 Tour de France. After struggling for condition over the last couple of stages, the Kiwi found that stage 16 was just too much. The LottoNL-Jumbo rider had been in 12th place overall going into the stage.
Stage 16 was always going to be an interesting one to watch. We thought the interest would be over whether Team Sunweb would take the race to the green jersey, and indeed they have done. As we write this there are still 32km left to race. But sadly another point of interest was the fact that George Bennett found himself caught out in the wrong end of the split in a big way.
Sunweb’s pace on the front of the peloton was all to try and get rid of the green jersey of Marcel Kittel. That tactic was successful. However, George Bennett found himself in the wrong side of the split that took place in the peloton. While all the GC contenders seemed to make the bridge across comfortably, Bennett fell back, and then fell back from the Kittel group too.
Eventually Bennett found himself in a three-man group alongside Laurent Pichon and Daniel McLay; and his GC aspirations were now in tatters. What began with Bennett sitting just 34 seconds away from the top ten in the Tour de France was falling away fast as the pressure from Team Sunweb on the front of the peloton simply continued to be piled on.
Finally the decision was made, and George Bennett dismounted his bike; his Tour de France over. LottoNL-Jumbo took to Twitter to announce:
@georgenbennett had to abandon the race. The past few days he did not feel well.
We will keep you informed with any updates as soon as we can.