George Bennett extends contract with LottoNL-Jumbo

New Zealander commits to Dutch WorldTour team for another three years

Kiwi climber George Bennett has re-signed with WorldTour outfit LottoNL-Jumbo on a contract that will keep the 28-year-old at the Dutch team until at least the end of 2021.

Bennett, who hails from Nelson, finished eighth overall at the recent Giro d'Italia, and will be looking to continue to improve with the team he joined in 2015.

"I've come a long way as a cyclist since joining Team LottoNL-Jumbo," Bennett said on the team's website. "It's been a result of a lot of hard work from the staff and riders. The whole team has put a lot of faith in my abilities, and we share the same vision for the future."

Bennett, who won the 2017 Tour of California, is not at this year's Tour de France, but is set to ride the Vuelta a Espana in late August before mounting an all-out bid on next year's Tour.

"I'm excited about taking the next steps with the team and seeing how far I can go as a GC rider in the world's biggest races," he added. "I feel at home here and feel that I'm in the best place to get the most out of myself."

At the same time, LottoNL-Jumbo also announced a two-year contract extension for 24-year-old Antwan Tolhoek, who currently sits 87th overall at the Tour de France, where the Dutchman is riding in the service of Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic, and has been a constant presence at the front of the bunch during the opening week.

Tolhoek was one of three LottoNL-Jumbo riders sent home early from a training camp in Girona last December for using sleep medication that was unauthorised by the team.

"As a team, we're evolving, and I am too," Tolhoek said. "I'm perfectly happy here, and I’m showing that on the bike. I like the the staff and my teammates. That's important, too."

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