George Bennett has signed a one-year contract with Cannondale Pro Cycling for 2014. The 23-year-old turned professional with RadioShack in 2011 after spending a season at the Trek Livestrong under 23 squad. Cyclingnews understands that both Garmin and BMC were interested in signing Bennett.
“Joining Cannondale is a huge opportunity for me, I have always admired the way they race and the way they win. I am really excited to be a part of that next year. I think there is a wealth of experience in the staff and riders that I can tap into and keep making big steps forward, it is a road less travelled by other riders from my side of the world but that's the road I have taken since I started racing as an amateur. It’s also a chance to experience a new culture, learn a new language and make new friends,” he said in a team release.
“ I’m expecting a slightly slower start to my schedule in 2014; the focus will be on performing strongly in stage races through March. I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes last season and next year my goal is to be part of a successful Grand Tour. I hope to play an important role in team victories and when the opportunity presents itself, take a chance for a personal result.”
Bennett began to show signs of his talent towards the end of this year. He rode his first grand tour at the Giro in May – finishing in 122nd place overall – but claimed a top ten place in the US Pro Challenge later in the season. He went on to finish 20th at the Tour of Beijing in October.
“We are excited to have George join our team, he is a very good young talent who we look forward to working with and helping him to continue his development as a pro bike rider. As a good climber, he can continue to develop here and show himself well in some of the hillier races." said Roberto Amadio, Cannondale Pro Cycling's manager.