Tokyo Olympics: George Bennett (Cycling)

  • 01/01/2021

George Bennett

Age: 31

Height: 1.80m

Event: Road race & time trial

Born: April 7, 1990

Previous Olympics: 2016

Originally a mountain biker, Bennett switched to the road, after nearly taking out the national title in 2013, but was caught by Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston on the finish-line.

He joined the Dutch LottoNL-Jumbo professional team in 2015 and contested his first Grand Tour - 10th at the Vuelta a Espana - in 2016, when he was also selected for the Rio Olympics.

Bennett broke through on the world circuit in 2017, when he won the Tour of California and the follow year, placed eighth at the Giro d'Italia - the best-ever performance by a Kiwi rider in a Grand Tour.

Jumbo Visma won the team trial on stage two of the 2019 Tour de France, propelling Bennett into fourth place in general classification, but fell down the order on stage 10, when he was dispatched to fetch water bottles from the team car and got caught in crosswinds that split the peloton.

Bennett was again pipped at the 2020 national championships, mowed down by Shane Archbold over the closing stages, but won the prestigious Gran Piemonte in Italy and finished second at Il Lombardia threes days later - the best result by a Kiwi in a 'Grand Monument' race.

He finally won the national title in 2021, earning the right to wear the national champion jersey in professional races for the year, and finished 11th at the Giro, with a strong showing in the mountains over the final week.