LottoNL-Jumbo has withdrawn its New Zealand rider, George Bennett, from the Giro d’Italia on the eve of the race’s first stage. The Dutch team made the announcement late on Friday.
Bennett was found to have low cortisol levels after a pre-race medical check by the UCI. Although UCI rules would have allowed the 25-year-old to race, LottoNL-Jumbo is a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) which holds teams to a stricter standard, requiring riders with low cortisol levels to sit idle for eight days minimum.
So far in 2015, Bennett has raced four WorldTour races. His most recent outing was the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, where he finished 58th overall.
This situation is similar to that of Chris Horner (Airgas-Safeway), who was withdrawn on the eve of the 2014 Vuelta a España by his team, Lampre-Merida, in compliance with MPCC rules, as Horner also had low cortisol levels. Horner was the defending champion at the Spanish grand tour, having won in 2013.