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Cycling | 26 augustus 2018

Bennett fifth in first uphill finish Vuelta

George Bennett has finished fifth in the second stage of the Vuelta ciclista a España. On the first uphill finish, the 28-year-old from New Zealand finished three seconds behind stage winner Alejandro Valverde. Steven Kruijswijk was fourteenth at eight seconds. In the general classification, Kruijswijk is now eleventh and Bennett has moved up to the eighteenth place.

The stage to Caminito del Rey evolved in a traditional way with an early breakaway getting caught in the final of the stage. Bennett and Kruijswijk were well-protected throughout the day by their teammates of Team LottoNL-Jumbo and were put in an ideal position for the final climb. Kruijswijk tried to attack, but didn’t manage to break away.

Bennett looked back on the stage with a good feeling. “It was very hot today and also dangerous. But it was a good one for us. The final climb was not my or Steven’s speciality to make the difference. All in all, I look back on this stage with a good feeling. The other boys really stepped up and delivered us in a perfect position at the final climb. We rode a good final.”

According to Kruijswijk, it had been a difficult stage. “This is a difficult start to the Vuelta. It was going up and down all day and the temperature also played a big role. It was grueling. The team helped George and me well by supplying us with bottles and by keeping us in front in the final.”

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