George Bennett's helmet snaps in two after crash at Paris-Nice

The Jumbo-Visma rider got to his feet, clutching his head before stumbling, giving a thumbs up to the race doctor before getting back on his bike

George Bennett on stage two of Paris-Nice 2021 (Eurosport/GCN)

George Bennett was left with his helmet snapped in two after what looked like a worrying crash on stage two of Paris-Nice 2021.

After the bunch had passed through the second intermediate sprint of the day, squeezing down a side street laden with bollards, TV cameras cut to a replay of George Bennett on the ground.

With Jérémy Lecroq (B&B Hotels) also involved and checking if Bennett was okay, the Jumbo-Visma rider then got back to his feet, removing his helmet before stumbling towards the pavement, clutching his head, and then dropping his helmet.

Bent over catching his breath, a moto driver picked his bike up as Bennett blinked and waved for a team car, looking dazed.

After another replay of the aftermath of the crash, the Kiwi having tumbled on a narrow side-street lined with bollards, Bennett picked his helmet back up, a back part of it hanging off after the impact of the crash.

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A Jumbo-Visma soigneur gives Bennett a new helmet as two members of medical staff rush over to the rider. Bennett gave one doctor a thumbs up before the two doctors present on the scene share a thumbs up as the 30-year-old sets off back up the road.

George Bennett during stage two of Paris-Nice 2021 (Getty)

After chasing back for just over 10km, Bennett finally rejoined the bunch with 18.5km to go, having a chat with the race car as he got back on.

As the television pictures shown were a replay, it's hard to judge exactly, but it would appear it took less than two minutes for Bennett to crash before getting back on his bike and pedalling away.

Speaking after the stage, DS Grischa Niermann said: "I don't know how George is, he was okay after the crash but he crashed quite hard, broke his helmet. But he was able to continue and luckily he could come back to the peloton.

"For me, the last 50km for a day with the bunch sprint and the run-in with all the narrow roads was a little bit too much.

"There was a doctor who was there before us but I don't know if the concussion protocol was followed or not. I'm not a doctor, the race doctor gave the sign so he could continue, don't ask me."

The UCI's new concussion protocol states that an athlete suspected of sustaining a sports-related concussion (SRC) should be subjected to a road-side assessment in the case of a broken helmet or an observed large impact. This road-side assessment includes asking the rider whether they are experiencing either a headache, nausea, dizziness or double vision and whether their symptoms are mild, moderate or severe.

Two or more symptoms of mild severity, or one symptom of moderate or greater severity, should be interpreted as a likely SRC, the protocol states.

Maddocks questions, such as asking the rider what day it is and what race they are in, are also included, as an assessment of the spine and neck, whether the athlete is in any pain in these areas and whether they have a full range of active pain-free movement.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.