George Bennett (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) went really close to victory again, placing second in Tour of the Alps' fifth and final stage, 164,2 km from Rattenberg to Innsbruck (Austria) on Friday, April 20th. Equipped with Oltre XR4, the New Zealander tried to bridge the gap with Mark Padun who broke away from the leading group with four kilometers to go, finishing the race 5 seconds behind the Ukrainian and preceding a three-man group including Jan Hirt, Giulio Ciccone and Ben O' Connor. By playing a starring role again, Bennett rounded out a good overall performance at Tour of the Alps, where the 28-year-old cyclist from Nelson rode side-by-side with some of World's best climbers.
Team LottoNL-Jumbo's rider had placed fourth in the stage 3 in Meran (Italy) and then second in the penultimate stage in Lienz (ahead of teammate Koen Bouwman), before repeating himself in Innsbruck. Bennett's constancy was rewarded by the fifth position in the GC of the prestigious Italian/Austrian stage race, with a 1:00 gap from winner Thibaut Pinot. The results taken at the Tour of the Alps are an optimal stepping stone in view of the Giro d'Italia, where Bennett will try to play a leading role.