Cycling | 16 april 2018
Bennett better than expected in Tour of the Alps
George Bennett has come well through the first stage of the Tour of the Alps. The New Zealander of Team LottoNL-Jumbo found himself in the battle for the stage victory alongside Tour winner Chris Froome. This confirmed that the team leader for the upcoming Giro didn’t suffer serious consequences after a collision with a car on Sunday.
Pascal Eenkhoorn took the lead in the points classification in the first stage. The 21-year-old rider was in the leading group almost all day and was able to win the intermediate sprint. It was not until the last ascent that he had to let go of the breakaway.
Then it was up to Bennett. The New Zealander rode in the peloton all day and was supported by Koen Bouwman until shortly before the finish. In the end, Bennett crossed the finish line in seventh place. The difference with the number one in the general classification is twenty seconds.
Sports director Grischa Niermann was pleased with Eenkhoorn’s escape. "Always good to have someone in the breakaway. He rewarded himself nicely by winning the only intermediate sprint of the day. So Eenkhoorn is wearing the red jersey tomorrow.
Niermann saw that Bennett looked good on the last climb. “We are here to prepare ourselves for the Giro, but we have the GC in mind nevertheless. George rode well, especially considering yesterday’s incident.”
Bennett collided with a car, but didn’t suffer any serious injuries. “The next few days we’ll use to test whether he can climb with the best.”