Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Colombia's Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d'Italia's Mount Etna stage

Colombia's Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d'Italia's Mount Etna stage

Yates took the famous maglia rosa after a scorching performance on Mount Etna on Thursday and the 25-year-old from Bury retained it on a relatively uneventful seventh stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare on Friday.

It worked a charm, as Viviani found his way onto the wheel of Sacha Modolo as the sprint began, sprinting past him at an opportune moment, but only to see Bennett speed by in the final 50 metres to claim a quality win.

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took his first Grand Tour victory when he out-sprinted Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) to the stage 7 finish line at the Giro d'Italia. I was hoping not today and that I would get a little bit more confidence from the race, but there is still time.

"It was very hard to get Viviani's wheel, everyone wanted that wheel, and we had to fight for it".

He is on a long-term project to transition from a time trial specialist into becoming an overall contender for the three-week Grand Tours - the Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.

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New Zealand cyclist George Bennett has maintained his top 10 placing at the Giro d'Italia after stage seven on Saturday morning (NZ time).

Dennis was the biggest loser after finishing 1:04 down, but defending champion Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome and local favourite Fabio Aru finished together (in Pinot's slipstream) in their own battle of wits and strength.

'It felt really good, ' said the Bury rider. A bit stressful at the final, as always, but okay. "It was good that with not the best legs I could still hang on", said Dumoulin in his post-stage media responsibilities. 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.

Both stage eight to Montevergine di Mercogliano and stage nine to Gran Sasso d'Italia feature summit finishes at the end of 200km+ stages, with the latter being particularly brutish with what is effectively a 47km climb (with a few short descents along the way) at the end of a massive 224km stage.

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