Bennett survives tough job market with Cannondale deal

Young kiwi signs with Italian team late in the 2013 transfer season

George Bennett has signed with Cannondale, the Kiwi’s management announced on Tuesday. The 23-year-old will transfer to the Italian team in 2014 after spending the first two years of his professional career at RadioShack-Leopard.

“Joining Cannondale is a huge opportunity for me, I have always admired the way they race and the way they win,” said Bennett in a press release. “I am really excited to be a part of that next year. I think there is a wealth of experience in the staff and riders that I can tap into and keep making big steps forward, it is a road less traveled by other riders from my side of the world, but that’s the road I have taken since I started racing as an amateur.”

Bennett said his goals for 2014 are to ride well in the early-season stage races and to “be part of a successful grand tour.”

“We are excited to have George join our team, he is a very good young talent who we look forward to working with and helping him to continue his development as a pro bike rider,” said Cannondale manager Roberto Amadio. “As a good climber, he can continue to develop here and show himself well in some of the hillier races.”

Bennett did not make the move to Trek Factory Racing after the Leopard management firm sold its racing license to the U.S. bike manufacturer after the 2013 season. Bennett’s agent, Andrew McQuaid, acknowledged that the Kiwi had survived a tight job market.

“After a very tough transfer season, it is with some relief that we got this deal agreed,” said McQuaid. “There were several teams with varying interest in George, but Cannondale were very keen from the beginning of the negotiation process. It took a bit of time to finalize the contract, but now we are all looking forward to seeing George continue to develop his obvious climbing talent in what is undoubtedly a great team.”

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.