George Bennett 'returns to the magic of cycling' with gravel race this weekend

BAROLO ITALY AUGUST 12 George Bennett of New Zealand and Team JumboVisma during the 104th Giro del Piemonte 2020 a 187km race from Santo Stefano Belbo to Barolo 294m GranPiemonte GranPiemonte on August 12 2020 Barolo Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Sport Images)

George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) has started his last three seasons at the Tour Down Under but with the Australian WorldTour race cancelled this year, the 30-year-old will take the rare opportunity to begin his campaign with the Gravel and Tar race in his native New Zealand.

The Jumbo-Visma climber, who is set to target the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this season, travelled back to New Zealand after the 2020 road season and has spent recent weeks training on his home roads. This weekend he takes part in the 160km Gravel and Tar race as part of the national team and although he is not a regular gravel racer he’s more than looking forward to taking part in the 1.2 UCI registered event.

“The call went out in December from the national team to see who wanted to do the New Zealand Cycle Classic but I didn’t really want to get involved in a stage race this early, and then I had a friend’s wedding, but this is a one-day race and it looks really cool,” Bennett told Cyclingnews.

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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.