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Yates soars into Giro lead, Chaves wins stage

14 May 2018

Sam Bennett became the first Irish stage victor at the Giro d'Italia for 31 years yesterday when he powered to victory over favourite Elia Viviani in a scintillating sprint finish at Praia a Mare.

The stage was a pan flat 159km blast along the Calabrian coast and it ended - as expected - in a bunch sprint, which was won by Sam Bennett [Bora-Hansgrohe], after the day's breakaway had been caught with 14km remaining. "The team did a fantastic job and want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point", said Bennett.

Dennis' defeat was far from decisive, however, as the rider bearing the maglia rosa since Tel Aviv in Israel on Stage 2 crossed the line a relatively minor 1:04 behind stage victor Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott).

O'Connor finished 12th, 43 seconds behind Chaves and he is now Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's best-placed rider in 13th overall and second in the young rider competition. At one stage I thought Quickstep had gone too early and they were looking back to check me out and I was wondering were they trying to panic me and get me to go early again.

With AP Photos.Sam Bennett has timed his sprint to perfection to win the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia.

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Yates's second place on the stage was good enough for him to take the race leader's Maglia Rosa (pink jersey) off BMC's Rohan Dennis - who struggled on the first mountain-top finish of this year's race.

Dutch rider Dumoulin is now second overall at 16sec behind Yates. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 3.

Esteban Chaves is third, a further 10 seconds adrift, with Chris Froome a minute and 10 seconds behind Yates after a hard start to his bid for a third consecutive Grand Tour title. Now that his first Grand Tour stage has come, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Bennett.

"When Yates went I had to go (with him) but I had already gone three times before and I'm quite disappointed in myself".

Yates soars into Giro lead, Chaves wins stage