George Bennett is New Zealand’s new road champion
Sunday February 14th, 2021 at 08:13 AM
In the New Zealand Time Trial Championship he still had to settle for a silver medal, but in the road race it was a success for George Bennett. Jumbo-Visma rider won by a big lead over Mark Stewart and Michael Torckler.
The runners were treated to a 174.4 kilometer race with a start and finish in Cambridge. Bennett was very active along the way and eventually turned out to have the best legs. The 30-year-old Jumbo-Visma climber, who had never before been crowned New Zealand road champion, managed to shake off a solid solo.
On the line, the difference between Bennett and his early pursuers turned out to be almost two minutes. It is therefore his first road title for the brand new champion, having already collected a silver medal in 2013 and 2020. Remarkably, a Briton managed to conquer the silver medal, with Stewart of Scotland .
It turns out that Stewart has been in New Zealand for almost a year. The Ribble Weldtite rider decided to visit his girlfriend and New Zealand cyclist Emma Cumming in March, but was unable to return to Europe due to the lockdown in New Zealand. Stewart apparently got a waiver to compete in the New Zealand Championship.
George Bennett celebrates his title – photo: Cor Vos
Georgia Williams wins elite women’s title – photo: Cor Vos
Williams, McCarthy and Lucas on stage – photo: Cor Vos
The U23 men’s title goes to Jack Drage – photo: Cor Vos
Drage in his brand new champion jersey – photo: Cor Vos
In the elite women, the victory went to Georgia Williams. The 27-year-old Team BikeExchange rider, who also won gold at the New Zealand Time Trial Championship last Friday, was faster than Kate Mccarthy in a sprint. Sharlotte Lucas managed to win the bronze medal almost forty seconds later.
The U23s also competed for national road titles today. Georgia Danford was the best in the U23 women’s category, ahead of Henrietta Christie and Annamarie Lipp. The men’s title went to Jack Drage, who managed to take on Keegan Hornblow in a sprint. Reuben Thompson (bronze) was the third rider on the podium.