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Bennett seventh in return to World Tour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/02/2017

George Bennett has returned impressively from an illness-induced lay-off, finishing seventh overall at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

Leading Kiwi World Tour rider Bennett was less than a minute behind tour winner Rui Costa of Portugal in a highly-promising performance for his Team LottoNL-Jumbo outfit.

Bennett was forced to endure a longer off-season than expected after contracting glandular fever in December.

It curtailed his plan to compete in major races in New Zealand and Australia in the New Year.

He was consistent in the four-day Abu Dhabi event, a new edition to the World Tour, finishing 56sec behind former world road champion Costa.

Bennett's last major event was the Tour of Spain in early September when he placed 10th, becoming the first Kiwi to record a top-10 finish in a Grand Tour.

That completed a breakthrough year which featured strong rides at the Tour de France and the Rio Olympics.

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