Cycling | 20 april 2018

Bennett runner-up in final stage Tour of the Alps and fifth overall

George Bennett has finished fifth in the overall standings of the Tour of the Alps. In the final stage to Innsbruck, of which the last fifty kilometres went over the upcoming World Championships course, the team captain of Team LottoNL-Jumbo once again came in second. The 28-year-old rider from New Zealand was very strong in the stage and launched several attacks. Pascal Eenkhoorn secured the intermediate sprint jersey thanks too a strong team effort. 

There were many attacks from the group with favourites, after an early breakaway was chased down. Bennett tried to get away several times, but didn’t have an answer to Padun’s attack.

“We can look back on this week with a good feeling”, sports director Grischa Niermann said in his race review. “The week started with adversity due to the heavy crash of George, so our expectations weren’t too high. The last two days he came in second twice and he ended up as fifth in the overall standings. It’s a pity that he collapsed on the Alpe di Pampeago because of the crash, but he has proven that he climbs with the very best. That provides hope for the Giro. Jan Boven and I have seen an excellent team performance this week, and today as well by securing Pascal’s sprint jersey. Koen Bouwman has also made a lot of progress this week and that gives hope for the Giro and the future as well.” 

“Today was a very tough stage”, Niermann continued. “There was a lot of climbing all day, including three laps on the World Championship course. We controlled the stage until the intermediate sprint. Pascal took the necessary points to secure his sprint jersey. It was far from easy, but we succeeded. From that point, it was full throttle and it became a real elimination race. The best remained in the final and George did an excellent job.”