New Zealand's leading road cyclist is staying put, with George Bennett re-signing with LottoNL-Jumbo.

Bennett, who has been riding for the Dutch squad since 2015, will extend his stay until 2021 after inking a three-year deal.

Such long-term security is deserved after the 28-year-old continued his rise in 2018, claiming his best result in a Grand Tour when he finished eighth overall in the Giro d'Italia.

Add in top-11 finishes in his four other stage races this year, and Bennett has stamped his mark as a general classification contender in the World Tour's biggest races, making it no surprise that Lotto NL-Jumbo were keen to lock him in long-term.


"I've come a long way as a cyclist since joining Team Lotto-Jumbo. It's been a result of a lot of hard work from the staff and riders. The whole team has put a lot of faith in my abilities and we share the same vision for the future," said Bennett.

"I'm excited about taking the next steps with the team and seeing how far I can go as a GC rider in the world's biggest races. I feel at home here and feel that I'm in the best place to get the most out of myself."

Bennett, who is signed through to his age-31 season, joins a strong core at the Dutch squad.

Dylan Groenewegen, who has been the fastest sprinter in the world this season, is signed on until 2020, while stage race star Primoz Roglic and homegrown talent Steven Kruijswijk are signed to 2020 and 2021 respectively.

The rise of Roglic could make for some interesting scenarios for Bennett, with the Slovenian rider having already won three stage races this year, including victories over strong fields in the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of the Basque Country.

Roglic is an explosive rider and an exceptional time trialist, making him a real contender for Grand Tour success. However, while he is one of the best one-week stage race riders in the world, there are some questions whether he can survive in the high mountains over the three weeks of a Grand Tour.

Roglic is currently leading the LottoNL-Jumbo squad at the Tour de France as the race heads into the mountains overnight, and if he performs well, he could be seen as the squad's long-term number one rider for the Tour.

Bennett skipped the Tour this year, with the intended goal of targeting it in again 2019, but with Groenewegen requiring sprint support and Roglic a late-blooming precocious talent, it will be interesting to see where Bennett fits in.


However, that is a only minor potential complication, with Bennett's skills making him worthy of team leadership in an array of high-profile races, and he should be a chance to improve on his Grand Tour record as he continues to grow into his cycling prime.

Bennett is currently getting back into training, and is expected to race at the Tour of Poland before tackling his remaining big goals for the season - the Vuelta a Espana and the World Championships - two events where he is a strong chance to claim New Zealand's best ever result.

Bennett is the first off-contract Kiwi World Tour rider to secure his future, with several other moves set to be announced after August 1.

Patrick Bevin is set to be in demand, and may move on from his BMC team after they underwent a change in sponsor, while Dion Smith could be set for a move to the World Tour after strong performances for his Pro-Continental Wanty-Groupe Gobert squad.

Other Kiwi World Tour riders who are off-contract at the end of the season include Sam Bewley and Tom Scully, while Jack Bauer and Alex Frame are both contracted through to 2019 for Mitchelton-Scott and Trek-Segafredo respectively.