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Cycling | 2 september 2018

Bennett loses time, but enters Vuelta top 10

George Bennett climbed a place in the general classification in the ninth stage of the Vuelta a España. He’s now in the top 10. 

The New Zealander and Steven Kruijswijk both lost some seconds to their opponents on the final climb, but managed to limit their time loss. Bennett finished 10th, Kruijswijk 13th. 

Tom Leezer was part of the breakaway all day. He couldn’t follow the group ahead of the final climb and dropped back. In the last kilometres, Sepp Kuss took the lead in the peloton. When the GC riders attacked in the last kilometre, Kruijswijk and Bennett couldn’t follow.

"It was a really hard day," Bennett said. “The boys did a perfect job to help me and Steven. I'm a little frustrated with the final. I did the hard part to make the group of favourites, but got tailed off in the cross-winds in the last 500 metres.”

Despite the time loss, Bennett has a positive feeling about the first part of the Vuelta. 

“I think we have survived the first week well and the gaps are still really small. I'm looking forward to the next two weeks to see what we can do.”

Kruijswijk had a hard time on the final climb. “When they accelerated, I was already riding on my limit," he said. 

“I had to limit the damage. I couldn’t do more today. Beforehand, I knew I was able to follow the GC group for a long time. The question was how long? Unfortunately, I came up short.”

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