Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Dennis loses Giro lead as Yates shines

Colombia's Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d'Italia's Mount Etna stage Simon Yates surges up Mount Etna to take race lead in Giro d'Italia
Isaac Mcdaniel | 14 May, 2018, 00:20

Sprint expected third victory of Elia Viviani, but the mood of the Italians managed to spoil Sprinter "BORA - hansgrohe", Sam Bennett, who won his debut victory at the Grand tour.

But Bennett stuck to his rival and just pipped the home favourite to the line to become the first Irish victor of a Giro stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

Favorite Chris Froome could not follow Chaves and Yates, and finished with the followers at 26 seconds.

From there the 29-year-old was able to come around Sacha Modolo with 200m to go, but didn't count on Bennett coming off his wheel to take the win in an impressive show of power and speed.

Viviani had looked on course to take his third stage win of the race after taking the lead with the line in sight, but the Quick-Step Floors rider had to settle for second place on the same time.

As Sam Bewley comments when interviewed after following the end of the stage, "it's a long way to go to Rome, but things are looking good" for the team.

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Earlier in the Giro Bennett had lost his favoured lead-out man Rudi Selig to illness so Bennett had to do much of the work on his own.

He said: "Today was about patience". I was glad I kept my cool and it paid off. "I'm not that far behind the leaders, and what I'm thinking is that if I can stay somewhat within reach, then hopefully I can still perform quite well, and the [stage 16] time trial will help me out as well".

"I knew that was going to happen eventually".

"I made the break with Jack (Haig), I want to say thank you for Jack, he pulled a lot in the breakaway".

With a broken down ferry meaning that some riders were forced to spend five hours sat on the team bus getting to their hotels after Thursday's Mount Etna stage, today - at least until the final 15km - provided exactly the sort of easy day that they would have hoped for.

In second place was Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) who moved into the top spot of the General Classification.

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