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Smith named for first Tour de France ride

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

There will be two Kiwi first-timers competing at the Tour de France after Belgian-based professional Dion Smith was given the nod.

Smith will join Cannondale-Drapac professional Patrick Bevin in contesting the three-week stage race which starts in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

It will be a debut for both, off the back of excellent form for their professional teams.

They are expected to be joined by leading Kiwi professional George Bennett, the recent overall winner of the Tour of California, when LottoNL-Jumbo confirm their nine-man team.

Smith will form part of a Wanty-Groupe Gobert comprised mainly of riders yet to tackle the Tour de France.

Smith, in his first year with the World Tour team, has enjoyed an excellent season.

The 24-year-old has taken top 10 finishes at the New Zealand road championships and the Tour of Catalunya, along with a string of prominent stage performances at the Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine.

Smith rode at ProContinental level last year with ONE Pro Cycling, earning promotion to the World Tour through a series of strong results.

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