The LottoNL Jumbo team has published a statement in relation to George Bennett’s comments following yesterday’s nineteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia, where they stated that what he had said was “not an insinuation, but a way to express the admiration for an exceptional achievement.”
In a video posted by the team after the stage, Bennett who sits in ninth place overall, expresses surprise when told that Chris Froome (Team Sky) had taken over the pink jersey. The Briton had started the stage in fourth place on GC, 3’22” behind race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). He attacked with 80 kilometres of the stage remaining and held off his chasers to move into the overall lead.
During his warm down, Bennett asked his interviewer: “Did Froome stay away?” and when told that he was now in the pink jersey, Bennett responded by saying “bullshit” followed by “he did a Landis.”
At the 2006 Tour de France, Floyd Landis had started the seventeenth stage from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Morzine, over eight minutes behind race leader Oscar Pereiro. The American went on a long-range attack and soloed to victory, reducing his deficit to just 30 seconds. He went on to take the yellow jersey but was later stripped of his title with victory going to Pereiro.
The statement from LottoNL Jumbo is as follows: “Disclaimer to avoid any misinterpretation: this is not an insinuation, but a way to express the admiration for an exceptional achievement. Congratulations to Chris Froome and Team Sky.”
— LottoNLJumbo Cycling (@LottoJumbo_road) May 25, 2018