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George Bennett to lead New Zealand team at world championships

Jumbo-Visma's George Bennett finishes stage 2 of the 2019 Tour of California at South Lake Tahoe
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cycling New Zealand have announced their squads for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, UK, which run from September 22-29, and have selected George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) to lead the elite men's squad, while Georgia Williams (Mitchelton-Scott) heads up the elite women's team.

Bennett is currently racing at the Vuelta a Espana, alongside two other members of the four-man squad for the Worlds: Paddy Bevin (CCC Team) and Mitchelton-Scott's Dion Smith. EF Education First's Tom Scully completes the team for the road race, while Bevin and Scully will also compete in the individual time trial.

Williams will take part in Saturday's GP de Plouay-Lorient Agglomération Trophée WNT for her Mitchelton-Scott team, and in September will lead a New Zealand elite women's team for the road race made up of Ella Harris (Canyon-SRAM) and Mikayla Harvey (Bigla), with Williams and Harvey also taking part in the time trial.

"It's a strong group of professional riders who will line-up for New Zealand in Yorkshire," Cycling New Zealand high performance director Martin Barras said in a press release. "We don't have the ranking points to allow for a full team, but this is one of the stronger teams of riders, both numerically and in quality of their performances this year.

"It's particularly pleasing that we are developing depth in the women's ranks in terms of young riders who have produced competitive performances for WorldTour teams in the cut-and-thrust of tough racing in Europe, which is the hot-bed of the sport," he said.

New Zealand national team for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships:

Elite men: George Bennett (road race), Patrick Bevin (time trial, road race), Tom Scully (time trial, road race), Dion Smith (road race)

Elite women: Ella Harris (road race), Mikayla Harvey (road race, time trial), Georgia Williams (road race, time trial)

Under-23 men: Ethan Batt (road race), James Fouche (road race, time trial), Paul Wright (road race)

Junior men: Drew Christensen (road race), Logan Currie (Road race, time trial), Finn Fisher-Black (road race, time trial), Ari Scott (road race), Reuben Thompson (road race, time trial)

Junior women: Stella Nightingale (road race), Ella Wyllie (road race, time trial)