Cycling | 19 januari 2018

Bennett and Gesink advance in standings Tour Down Under

As expected, the fourth stage of the Tour Down Under was very heavy. In the extreme heat it was Peter Sagan who won the sprint of the thinned peloton. George Bennett crossed the line as fifteenth. Robert Gesink finished seventeenth, just behind Bennett. The two riders of Team LottoNL-Jumbo finished in the same time as the world champion.

Because of these rankings, both gained several places in the general classification. Bennett is now eighth, Gesink has moved up to sixth place.

Bennett was very active, especially in the last kilometres before the finish. The New Zealander tried to break away a few times, but the peloton would not let him go.

"It is fantastic to be here after having been out for so long", Gesink said. The Dutchman would have preferred to be a bit higher in the stage classification, but he also realised that that would have been difficult. "Because of the heat, it was a tough course. The riding seemed flat and closed. That was because everyone realised that there was only one chance for a good ranking. This led to a long wait. It will not be different tomorrow. I'm going to do everything to get a high position in that ranking."

Team leader Frans Maassen had seen a hard-working squad today. "That was not easy with temperatures rising to 45 degrees. Bennett and Gesink did well uphill and had a lot of support from the other boys. Tomorrow the finish is uphill, so then everything is possible again", Maassen said.