Giro d'Italia

George Bennett on Giro d’Italia setback: ‘You have to keep the faith’

Jumbo-Visma captain ceded important time to his direct GC rivals in cold and wet conditions Tuesday.

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George Bennett was one of the top GC favorites to whither under the horrific conditions in Tuesday’s cold and wet fourth stage at the Giro d’Italia.

The New Zealand national champ lost 3:06 to stage-winner Joe Dombrowski (UAE-Team Emirates), and ceded important terrain to his direct GC rivals. The Jumbo-Visma captain tumbled to 34th overall at 3:10 back to new pink jersey Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation).

“I made a big mistake with the clothing, and I took the jackets off too early,” Bennett said at the start Wednesday. “I got really frozen on the last downhill. I got really cold there in the end, and it’s not easy to put out the watts. It was not good yesterday. It was really disappointing.”

Bennett, 31, came into the Giro leading the powerful Jumbo-Visma outfit, and was hoping to have a clear run in an all-out bid for captaincy in the overall.

A wet and chilled Bennett lost contact when the favorites surged clear on the day’s final climb late in Tuesday’s stage, losing more than a minute to riders like Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious). That came on top of other losses in the opening-day time trial against the likes of Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step).

Also read: What the stars said after Tuesday’s wet stage

“You have to keep the faith,” Bennett said. “I know I am good, and I think it’s important not to get your head down and keep fighting. It’s not what we wanted to do, and no one is more disappointed than me. It’s a long race, and I am going to continue as normal, and fight for every second.”

Other GC favorites who struggled Tuesday in the cold and wet conditions included João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), and Marc Soler (Movistar).