I'd barely registered that the Giro d'Italia was underway - but, they've yet to have a big sort out stage.
Meanwhile, overnight the Tour of California will have its queen Stage up Mt. Baldy. George is in the picture in eighth place. - 34 seconds behind Tejay Van Garderen. Time that is easily made up if George has good form.
Biggest threat is doubtless Richie Porte, who is sitting three seconds behind George. A few other recognisable names, but no-one else I think George should really fear.
Eurosport is what you need for the cycling. Not sure if VPNs work but worth investigating as they not only show most tour events live but have 1.5 hour highlights every day as well.
George was ripped off in AOTC (along with a few others). TJVG had crashed earlier in the stage and was being dragged forward to the front group when another crash happened 3.2km out and held back his chance to catch the others (including GB).
For some reason the commissars then awarded TJVG the same time as the first bunch even though he was detached from them when caught in the crash (and the crash happened before the 3km safety mark.
Was complete bullshit and other teams are challenging the ruling.
At the Giro there have been crashes almost every stage affecting and/or removing GC contenders. Roglic lost the lead yesterday after an early crash and the peleton allowing a 8 minute breakaway group take the stage and almost all the top places. I guess they are banking on restoring order in the later stages. Only Jack Bauer flying the flag for NZ as a dom.
Bennett looked quite lively in the stage I watched last night (UK time). He needs a good showing at California to keep in the team GC mix at Visma given how well the other leaders are tracking, especially Roglic at the Giro who looks almost unbeatable in current form (I know he ceded the Maglia Rosa yesterday but it was just to give both him and the team a break).
Watched the last 20kms of today's stage.
One of George's best rides - he was quite instrumental in cracking the lead group up Mt. Baldy - reducing from 20 riders down to four - and catching Schachmann, who had broken away.
In the end, Higuita broke away, Pogacar chased him down and George chased a bit more slowly. Richie Porte's chain came off and he lost about 100 metres, that he never managed to quite make up. With about 300 metres left to go, George had just about caught the leading two - probably only 10 metres behind - but they launched the sprint for the line and George had to settle for third - four seconds down.
As a result, he's up to fourth overall. Good to see him doing lots and largely able to go on with it. Commentators talking Pogacar, the winner, up as the next big thing.
Teejay got cracked a long way from home - sounds like a bit of justice for the earlier crash shenanigans.
This thread seemed to die off during the Giro but it was a fascinating race.
Once Roglic handed his lead over he opened the door for someone good to take the initiative and that someone was Carapaz. By the end of the race Carapaz had only really put in 2 days of extra effort to get a comfortable win. Helped him immensely that Movistar were very strong as a team and protected him much like we are used to seeing Sky/Ineos do for their top man.
Roglic had to rely on trying to stay with the other contenders and always seemed to be riding alone although he came back enough in the final TT to sneak a podium place behind Nibali. Looked like Jumbo are saving their big team effort for the TDF.
Roglic just didn't have it. Yeah, his lack of solid support from team mates meant he let Carapaz get away. But Nibali had solid team mates and he let Carapaz take exactly the same amount of time on the stage.
In the final TT, which is where Roglic was always going to need to win it over pure climbers, he finished barely in the top ten -- which he would have expected to win convincingly. His legs had gone.
@Crucial Yeah - the hours are just too awful in NZ to watch much of it - and especially when the big guns go to work (at 3am). But, I kept an eye on it.
Roglic had a couple of crashes which didn't help him and at least one stage his support car was apparently on a "comfort break" when he needed a new bike, but in the end, seemed like Carapaz had a stretch of three or four stages where he was able to drop him with ease.
None of which is bad news for George. He's slated to work as a super-domestique for Roglic and Kruiswijk in the TdF, but gets another shot as team leader in the Vuelta. This performance might give Jumbo some food for a rethink.
I really hope that somewhere in the TdF they at least give him a license to go for an individual stage win.
Provisional lists for TdF have come out and Jumbo look to have a fairly strong team as long as they work out who is doing what properly.
Steven Kruijswijk, Robert Gesink, Dylan Groenewegen, George Bennett, Tony Martin, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Primoz Roglic, Mike Teunisse
Paddy Bevin has been named in the CCC team which is good news for NZ interest
The news about Froome is simply horrendous. Travelling 54kmph into the side of a house - he's lucky to be alive. I would not be surprised if he doesn't compete again.
Britain's Chris Froome is in intensive care and "not in great shape" after suffering serious multiple fractures in a high-speed crash, his team principal Dave Brailsford told BBC Sport.
Froome took his hand off his handlebars to blow his nose and was travelling at 54km/h when a gust of wind caught his front wheel, causing him to hit a wall.
He was airlifted to St Etienne University Hospital for surgery.
"Time is of the essence in these situations," said the Team Ineos boss.
The four-time Tour de France champion, 34, has suffered a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs and lost consciousness following the crash.
Speaking to Radio 5 Live's BeSpoke podcast, Brailsford said: "He's been operated on to make sure that first phase of medical care is as optimal as possible and we will manage it from there. It's an evolving situation. It is concerning, there is no doubt about that.
"He's not in great shape. There are crashes and bad crashes and this was a bad crash."
The crash occurred during a practice ride before stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France, on Wednesday
Froome was riding with Ineos team-mate Wout Poels when he crashed next to a parked ambulance into a house.
Describing the incident, Brailsford said: "He came down a technical descent and on to a straighter piece of road with houses either side. He signalled to Wout that he was going to clear his nose, he took his hand of the bar to do that and a gust of wind took his front wheel, he lost control and went straight into the wall of a house.
"We have had a look at his data, he went from 54km/h to a dead stop."
Froome would have been chasing a record-equalling fifth victory in the Tour, which starts in Brussels on 6 July, but has been ruled out of the race.
Brailsford said the focus is now on Froome's recovery and his wife Michelle has been flown to the hospital to be with him.
"Instead of channelling his efforts into the Tour, he will have to channel everything he has got into his recovery," said Brailsford.
He added: "He had just come back from Tenerife. I have seen how hard he has worked, the amount of sacrifice and effort to try and win that Tour this year. He was really on track, in really good shape and would put final touches on his conditioning and go for the Tour again."