• George Bennett at the 2018 Tour of Italy ia Reale, Turin, Italy. (Getty Images) (Getty)
As George Bennett readies for next week's Vuelta a España, he isn't hiding his desire to race the Tour de France again for LottoNL-Jumbo, but with so much GC talent now at the team, the Kiwi says he's open to a Movistar-style triumvirate.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
stuff.co.nz
16 Aug - 11:12 AM  UPDATED 16 Aug - 6:53 PM

Given how that worked out for Movistar this year, Bennett may want to reconsider that option. But it may be the only way he can co-lead the Tour again for LottoNL-Jumbo after the top five performances of both Primoz Roglic (4th overall) and Steven Kruijswijk (5th overall) in 2018.

"Next year is a long way away but ideally we'd run the trident and get three of going us there," Bennett told Stuff.

"The Tour de France is a crazy race and this year it was unbelievable that nothing happened to either of them, especially when you look at all the other guys who crashed out.

"I would like to go there with three leaders - I don't know if the team wants to send one of the other boys to say the Giro instead - but I would like all of us to focus on the Tour.

"It would give us such a good chance in the mountains. When there's 10 guys and you have three from the same team, it really gives you options to make the move and do good things."

The 2018 Vuelta a España will be broadcast LIVE on SBS Viceland with streaming available on the Cycling Central website and SBS OnDemand Apps from 2am Sunday 26 August. 

While his eighth overall at this year's Giro was a strong result, the performances of Kruijswijk and Roglic - an excellent all-rounder with three overall stage race victories this year - at the Tour highlight Bennett's need for a top finish at the Vuelta.

Now nipping at his heels is Sepp Kuss who won the Tour of Utah last week and is also headed to the Spanish grand tour with Bennett. But the Kiwi says he isn't feeling any pressure.

"The whole vibe of the team is just going really well. I think that adds to it because everywhere we go at the moment the team is really firing. I don't know if it adds extra pressure but strangely there is momentum in cycling and you feed off that," he said.

"What we saw in France was pretty awesome and that is actually a good thing. Although some people see it as a real obstacle when you have a couple of guys riding for the GC because you can have leadership battles but I think if it's done properly then you can use that as a real advantage. You can send guys up the road and put pressure on other teams by using guys who are really dangerous and benefit from that."

Bennett's preparation for the Vuelta included a tilt at the Tour of Poland where he finished just short of the podium in fourth overall.

"It's weird," he also told Stuff. "You can't help but be disappointed when you lose a podium but we sat there on the last day and said we're either going to win the race or lose the podium, because it's going to go either way, and I had a super day on that last day but there just wasn't much for me to work with. In the end I look back on it as a good week.

"It's a strange race as there's no mountains, just short explosive climbs. It's really late starts and it's an absolute ball-ache to get there in terms of travelling. It was quite a niggly race but it was good to be back."

The Kiwi will stay in Andorra for more altitude training before the Vuelta starts Sunday 26 August here, at SBS On Demand and on SBS Viceland live from 2am.

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