George Bennett explains tactics from finale of Giro d'Italia stage 12

The New Zealand national champion is hunting for stages after falling out of GC contention

George Bennett leads the break on the final climb of stage 12 in the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

George Bennett tried to go for victory on stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia but a tactical battle with Italian rider Gianluca Brambilla saw the New Zealander eventually finish third.

Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) came to the race as the leader of his team, but poor performances in the cold and wet weather in the first week saw him slip out of contention.

The New Zealand national champion is now on the quest of hunting for stages with the big mountains looming, but is still trying to get used to the tactics of winning from the breakaways having normally ridden amongst the peloton.

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Speaking after the stage, Bennett said: “Stage hunting and breakaways, it's not normally what I'm doing. I'm sort of normally just riding from the peloton and maybe it takes a while to get the feel of that a little bit and I think as we hit into the big mountains it's more about legs than say, playing the game or tactics and cat and mouse and all that sort of stuff, so I mean hopefully there's a bit more for me.” 

Bennett managed fourth originally on stage 12 behind eventual winner Andrea Vendrame (Ag2r-Citroën), with Chris Hamilton (DSM) and Brambilla taking the final podium spots. But Brambilla was relegated to fourth for a deviation in his sprint, moving Bennett up to third.

Brambilla let the wheel of Hamilton and Vendrame go in the closing kilometres to try and force Bennett through to do some work in the break, which Bennett didn't want to do as he was the rider with the slowest sprint. Hamilton saw this and used it to his advantage attacking with Vendrame with the two holding on to the finish.

Bennett then went to chase with Brambilla sitting on his wheel all the way until the sprint where the Italian kicked to the line, but he moved dramatically causing the race jury to move him down to fourth on the day.

“I can't close everything and I'm not gonna win the sprint, so I have to gamble and I really can't understand [what Brambilla did]," Bennet said.

"If I was a fast guy, I would’ve ridden that differently. You just cover everything and try and go for the sprint, but if you're 58 kilos and struggling to break 1000 Watts then what's the point in taking it to a sprint.

“It was the same on the climb, you know, unfortunately we had quite a big headwind and you can go as many times as you'd like but if everybody's looking at your wheel there's not a lot you can do."

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.