Kiwi cyclist George Bennett moves into top 10 of Giro d'Italia

Esteban ChavesSportsColombia’s Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d’Italia’s Mount Etna stage by Adriaan Alsema

Bennett was the last to launch his sprint but the Irish rider managed to edge out Elia Viviani - who won two of the opening three stages - and claim his first win in a 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.

After moving into the pink jersey on Mount Etna, this is exactly the sort of day that Simon Yates and his Mitchelton-Scott team-mates would have hoped for.

The other Kiwis in the race - Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott) and Tom Scully (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) - finished in the peloton in 51st place, and 27 seconds back in 85th place, respectively.

Chaves, the last man standing from the break of the day, is another 10 seconds adrift of his colleague Yates, while Dennis finds himself with 53 seconds to make up after failing to react when the climbers attacked. 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. 'There was a little bit of a gap, so I took the chance.

The Adelaide rider had led by one second for four days and he dropped to sixth overall.




"He'd been up the road all day and he deserved it".

"I still have some work to do, but I was actually pretty happy with my climb today", Dennis said later.

Froome is now eighth in the generation classification, one minute and 10 seconds behind Yates.

"I feel relieved. I have been close so many times before in the Giro", said the Bora-Hansgrohe rider.

"The first few stages I just got the timing a bit wrong". Interestingly, Roche took the Maglia Rosa for good in 1987 at Sappada where the Giro returns this year for the first time, on May 20, for the 15th stage.

Britain's Simon Yates held on to the overall lead by finishing in the group behind Bennett.

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