George Bennett: I’ve essentially had three ribs removed

George Bennett (Jumbo Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) went under the knife three weeks ago in a bid to finally end a long-suffering condition that has held back his cycling career. The New Zealand rider has been riding with side stitch issues for several years and has been diagnosed with slipping rib syndrome.

The condition means that whenever Bennett pushes himself in racing he is often forced to back off due to a stabbing-like pain in his chest. At the recent Rouleur Classic in London, where the Jumbo-Visma rider showcased bike storage brand Velohawk, Bennett showed off the scars from his recent surgery, with two long sets of stitches under his rib cage. 

"I had a big operation a couple of weeks ago and I hope that will help. I've had the side stitch for ages and it slowed me down a lot this year," he told Cyclingnews. "Every time I go hard I get this stabbing pain in my side. The surgery is pretty drastic measures but I've essentially had three ribs removed. That makes it sound worse than it is but each one was around 8cm long and made up of cartilage."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.