1 Sep 2017

Over eagerness to blame for Bennett

8:00 am on 1 September 2017

Over eagerness has proved costly for Nelson cyclist George Bennett after being forced to withdraw from the final grand tour of the year the Vuelta a Espana.

Bennett has struggled this year after being forced to also withdraw prematurely from theTour de France.

He was sitting in 158th place, nearly two hours and 20 minutes behind leader Chris Froome and said he simply had "nothing left to give".

His illness also puts in doubt his participation in the upcoming world champs when he's due to compete in the road time trial.

Bennett was diagnosed with glandular fever at the end of last year and was forced to take most of the summer off.

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Photo: Supplied

In May he appeared to have recovered when he became the first New Zealander to win a World Tour cycling event with victory in the Tour of California.

However being only a week long it's a much shorter event than the likes of the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana which take a major toll on riders.

George Bennett on the podium in California.

George Bennett on the podium in California. Photo: Photosport

Meanwhile Briton Chris Froome has crashed twice and had his lead cut by 20 seconds in the Vuelta, with Tomasz Marczynski claimed a solo victory on stage 12.

Froome fell on a downhill section in the last 6km of the 160km stage.

The incident allowed second-placed Italian Vincenzo Nibali to make up time on Froome, who leads by 59 seconds.

Meanwhile the Aqua Blue team bus of New Zealander Aaron Gate was destroyed after a suspected arson attack in the early hours of this morning.

Aaron Gate's team bus.

Aaron Gate's team bus. Photo: Twitter