27 Aug 2018

George Bennett leads NZ Cycling team for World Championships

12:15 pm on 27 August 2018

European-based pro cyclist George Bennett will lead the New Zealand men's team for next month's World road cycling Championships in Austria.

George Bennett

George Bennett Photo: Supplied

Sam Bewley, Patrick Bevin and Dion Smith will join Bennett in the road race.

Hamish Bond and Bevin will ride the individual time trial.

Georgia Williams, Grace Anderson and Mikayla Harvey will ride the women's road race and Harvey will also compete in the time trial.

George Bennett was fifth just behind the winner in today's second stage of the Vuelta a Espana with the Lotto-NL Jumbo professional using the three-week Grand Tour as a springboard onto the world championships.

The mountainous course for the world championships in Innsbruck is expected to suit the climber from Nelson.

Bewley, Bevin and Smith have all ridden a grand tour this year.

Hamish Bond of New Zealand, Mens time trial. Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Tuesday 10 April, 2018. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz

Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

Smith will compete in the Bretagne Classic and the Tour of Britain as preparation for Austria while Bevin, who has signed a two-year extension with CCC-BMC Racing, and Bewley, are expected to ride in the team time trial at the world championships for their respective pro teams.

World No 52 ranked Georgia Williams is back on her bike following a crash, which resulted in a fractured hip and sacrum and hopes to be fit for the world championships. She has been named in the Mitchelton-Scott squad for the team time trial and will make her decision to compete in both the individual time trial and road race based closer to the date, based on her fitness.

She will be supported by Mikayla Harvey from Wanaka and Grace Anderson from Auckland, who both ride for UCI pro outfit Team Illuminate.

Georgia Williams at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Georgia Williams at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Harvey has enjoyed a strong international season after winning the under-23 time trial honours at the Oceania Championships and finishing second in the youth classification a the Santos Women's Tour. Riding for Team Illuminate, she was third in the mountains classification at the Guizhou Road Race in China and sixth in the youth classification at the Amgen Tour of California.

Anderson won the youth classification at the Santos women's tour and second at the Herald Sun Tour at the start of the year. She was seventh in the mountains category in China and third in the young rider classification at the Tour of California, where she was the leading rider for the team overall.

They are both named to ride the road race with Harvey also competing in the elite time trial, with no under-23 category in women's cycling at the world championships, which makes this a massive test for the young riders.

National champion James Fouche from Auckland, currently riding for Team Wiggins pro team, heads the men's under-23 team along with Ryan Christiansen and James Mitri.