• New Zealand's George Bennett is treated by medical staff after one of his two crashes during Stage 18 of the 106th edition of the Tour de France. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
New Zealand's George Bennett pledges to continue the Tour de France despite suffering from two dramatic crashes on the Alpine stage to Valloire.
By
Cycling Central

26 Jul 2019 - 10:24 AM  UPDATED 26 Jul 2019 - 10:29 AM

Despite being bloodied and bruised following two frightening crashes on Stage 18, a game George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) managed to remount his bike both times and finish in 27th place, 10 minutes 58 seconds behind the winner Nairo Quintana at the Tour de France on Thursday.

The 29-year-old New Zealander, who was one of three Jumbo-Visma general classification riders, including team-mates Steven Kruijswijk and Laurens De Plus, selected to undergo an anti-doping test just 45 minutes before the start, described the stage as an "absolute arsehole of a day" on Twitter after the finish.

Colombians shine at altitude with Quintana, Bernal on song
Nairo Quintana seized an indelible victory in Valloire and Egan Bernal moved to second overall ahead of team mate Geraint Thomas, both Colombians launching their attacks on the Col de Galibier.

George Bennett: the Kiwi setting a hard tempo for Kruijswijk at the Tour
We’ve written about him before and explained how George Bennett’s personal results in the Tour de France are strongly affected by the reality that he’s a domestique for the Dutchman in third overall, Steven Kruijswijk. That may be the case, but the Kiwi continues to impress in difficult circumstances.

The 2017 Amgen Tour of California winner has vowed to continue his Tour after being medically checked, and according to the team website, no injuries were found. Bennett has played a key role in the success of the Dutch-registered WorldTour team as this year's Tour, which includes four stages wins, including his involvement in Jumbo-Visma's team time trial victory on Stage 2.

With Stage 10 winner Wout van Aert crashing out on Stage 13's individual time trial, Bennett has been vital team-mate Steven Kruijswijk's success on GC. 

TDF 2019: Wout van Aert Stage 13 crash

Despite Kruijswijk maintaining a 1-minute 47-second deficit on the yellow jersey worn by Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), the 32-year-old Dutchman falls to fourth place on GC as Colombian Egan Bernal leaps from fifth to second after gaining 32 seconds on the leader.

“I got through the day well”, Kruijswijk said. “In the descent of the Galibier it was all hands on deck for a while. When Alaphilippe returned, it was important to limit the damage to Bernal. I also did not want to take too many risks.

"The fact that it started to rain in the end, was not ideal. It was a grueling day with those three long climbs. Nobody dared to go early, because they were afraid to pay the price. Although I didn’t feel great, I survived the stage.”

Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) was also seen hitting the pavement during the stage. But the 25-year-old Lotto Soudal sprinter finished the race and will be vying for a third stage win in his Tour debut when the three-week, 21-stage Grand Tour reaches Paris on Sunday.