George Bennett to ride in Tour

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Nelson has its second Tour de France rider after George Bennett was named in the LottoNL-Jumbo team on Thursday for the world’s greatest cycling race.

Nathan Dahlberg rode in the Tour de France in 1988 and 1989 and now George will make his debut in this year’s edition following some outstanding form in lead-up races. However, George still needed a little luck to make the team, replacing star rider and team leader Robert Gesink who was injured in  the Tour de Suisse.

The team’s Sports Director Nico Verhoeven says George has improved a lot this season in the Tour of California and the Criterium du Dauphiné and replaces Robert.

“We want to win a stage,” Nioc says. ““Wilco Kelderman is able to show off in the mountains and we have some men who have to be able to finish it off from the breakaway on the days that are too hard for the sprinters.”

The team is: George Bennett, Dylan Groenewegen, Wilco Kelderman, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens, Timo Roosen, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.

* Footnote, added after this story was first published: Golden Bay’s Jack Bauer has also cycled in the Tour de France with Garmin–Sharp. In 2014 he came within metres of being the first New Zealander to win a stage in the world’s most prestigious cycle event.