George Bennett has raced with both Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates, since 2015. However he now is excited for a new challenge and type of racing with Israel - Premier Tech, where he hopes to find his best form and better performances.
“Those last two years went really fast. I made a lot of really good friends at UAE, and there were some awesome moments, like being part of the Tour with Tadej last year but I was just so shit in terms of results," Bennett told GCN. He's leaving UAE Team Emirates at the end of this season, struggling to find form and consistency over his stay, eventually having several riders overtake him in the ranks for the Grand Tours.
Sepp Kuss on Primoz Roglic: "He can now go to a team where he feels valued and where everyone supports him"
"It just didn’t work with what I needed to make me a good rider. It took a while at Jumbo to find out what I need, and I’m a good trainer, but it didn’t really work out for me at UAE. I really struggled with not being at 100 percent. I was still committed but when you’re not at 100 percent it was very frustrating on and off the bike.” At World Tour level he was never close to the front since joining the team, he showed occasional signs such as his sixth place at the Vuelta a Burgos, but ultimately it didn't improve from there on.
“Here’s the thing about UAE: you go to a race and there’s a good chance you’ll be with Adam Yates, Tadej, Ayuso, or Almeida. One of those is going to be a leader on any WorldTour team and one of those is at every single race. Then the next level down is Hirschi and McNulty so it’s unbelievable the line up that they can put together," he said. In there, Bennett could not find leadership. In his next team he hopes that will be the case.
"I deserved to win the Vuelta" - Sepp Kuss proud of Grand Tour win but keen to return to super domestique role at 2024 Tour de France
“I’ll try and get results. There will be times when I’m helping others, which I really enjoy, so the key draw is that the team wants to take opportunities. Look at their Giro, they rolled the dice and looked for results," he says, hinting at what can possibly be a big goal for the Kiwi.
"We’re not doing big mountain trains, because there’s no point unless you’ve got Pogacar or Vingegaard at the end of them. It’s more about racing, and going against the odds. I know I’m making it sound all romantic but that’s the scrappy style of racing that I really like. I’m excited by the chance of being a good rider again.”