George Bennett won the Italian one-day race Gran Piemonte on Wednesday. The New Zealander of Jumbo-Visma crossed the finish line just before Diego Ulissi. Mathieu van der Poel finished third.
Thirty-year-old Bennett only booked his second victory of his career, after winning a stage in the 2017 Tour of California. For Jumbo-Visma it already meant the second victory of the day. Previously, Wout van Aert was the strongest in the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Jumbo-Visma has been in excellent shape in recent weeks anyway. In addition to Wednesday’s victories, Van Aert also won Milan-San Remo and the Strade Bianche and Primoz Roglic booked two stage victories and the overall victory in the Tour de l’Ain.
The 104th edition of the Gran Piemonte, which took the peloton over 187 hilly kilometers from Santo Stefano Belbo to Barolo, was colored by a flight of four riders. The German Philipp Walsleben, the Dane Mikkel Frølich Honoré, the Australian Miles Scotson and the American Joey Rosskopf drove ahead for a long time.
At 60 kilometers from the finish, the lead of the quartet was about four minutes, but the peloton gradually reduced the difference under the leadership of Jumbo-Visma, among others. Not much later the leading group consisted of three men, because the pace was too high for Scotson.
Bennett attacks on the penultimate climb
Walsleben, Honoré and Rosskopf were caught at 8 kilometers from the finish by the considerably thinned peloton. Bennett attacked on the penultimate climb, after which a group with Van der Poel and Alessandro De Marchi chased.
Bennett started the rapidly increasing final kilometer with a lead of about fifteen seconds and stayed just ahead of the onrushing Ulissi in the pouring rain. Van der Poel finished third in four seconds. Antwan Tolhoek finished eleventh.
The Gran Piemonte is part of the ProSeries, the level below the WorldTour. Last year the race in Italy was won by Egan Bernal.
George Bennett only recorded his second victory of his career. (Photo: Getty Images)
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