New Zealand's George Bennett out of road cycling world championships

  • 13/09/2017
George Bennett, New Zealand road cyclist
George Bennett, New Zealand road cyclist Photo credit: Getty

Leading professional George Bennett has confirmed his withdrawal from the New Zealand squad for the road cycling world championships starting in Norway this weekend.

Bennett has not recovered sufficiently from a virus that initially led to him pulling out of the Tour de France in July when battling for a top-10 spot.

The illness flared up during the Vuelta a Espana, forcing him out of that race a fortnight ago.

Bennett says the past few weeks have been a real battle with the virus and pushing himself too hard for the Vuelta wasn't a good option.

"In the end I wasn't getting better and, instead of risking the big goals for next year, my team wanted me to stop," he said.

"I'm not able to get to worlds in the condition needed to make an impact and so it's best to pull out."

In a double blow for New Zealand, illness has forced Jaime Nielsen to withdraw from the women's time trial.

In Cambridge in July, Nielsen set the fastest sea-level time for the one-hour time trial.