A THORN IN THE SIDE
George Bennett went into the Vuelta full of high hopes to target the general classi ication, but the persistent side stich problem that he’s su fered from for years hampered him in the second half of the race. Despite starting the race strongly, Bennett eventually inished in Madrid in 35th place.
After a mid-summer break, Bennett returned at the Tour of Poland and inished a strong fourth. His con idence was high and form was good. And at the end of week one of the Vuelta, after the summit inish to La Covatilla, he was nicely positioned in the top 10, 48 seconds behind leader Simon Yates. His teammate Steven Kruijswijk was one place ahead of him. But on stage 13, on the summit inish to La Camperona, Bennett struggled and conceded two minutes to Yates. He had hoped it was a case of stage 13 bad luck, but 24 hours later, when faced with another summit inish, his GC hopes collapsed. He lost another seven minutes to Yates and slipped out of the top 20. With Kruijswijk still in contention, Bennett switched to supporting his team-mate. Bennett had hoped the side stitch problem was behind him after having surgery a year ago. But after the Vuelta he admitted he had been undergoing testing again. “I’m sick of it being an issue but unfortunately the reality is it’s still there as bad as ever. It’s a big limiter,” he told Radio Sport.