Sam Bennett finishes third in Giro d'Italia stage three

07 May, 2018, 06:23 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Elia Viviani

Italy's Elia Viviani produced a late stunning sprint to win a thrilling Giro d'Italia second stage in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

With the opening time trial and two sprint stages complete, the Giro will head to hillier territory as the riders travel to Italy, where the contenders will seperate themselves from the pack.

He'd also won a stage in the Tour Down Under in January and triumphed at Three Days of De Panne in March.

I felt like throwing up after about 500m and eventually lost a minute and 14 seconds to Dumoulin to finish 116th.

Thanks to a time bonus, Australian rider Rohan Dennis, team leader of BMC Racing, took a one-second lead over defending champion Tom Dumoulin to capture the pink jersey.

"It was flawless", said the Sunweb rider, who won his fourth Giro stage and is the first reigning champion for 12 years to also claim the opening stage of the following Giro edition. The Dutchman remained in second place overall as Jose Goncalves moved into third.

Today ended the Israeli championship. He is now 19th, 38 seconds behind the leader.


"It was a stressful day and in the end it was a lot of effort to stay out of trouble and away from the splits towards the finish line", said 27-year-old Dennis, who has finished only two of six previous Grand Tours. The riders were cheered along the 226km route by groups of local supporters, with many having prepared visual displays on the roadside in pink, continuing the Israeli public's enthusiastic embrace of the Giro d'italia.

"It feels really good", said Dennis, who leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin - victor of Friday's opening time trial - by one second.

Viviani admitted he had been taken aback by Israel since arriving in the country on Tuesday, and not just because he wasn't expecting fans to be too hot on cycling.

The catch was made with ten kilometres to go, and just as the teams began fighting for position, some riders chose to attack and see if they could foil the sprinters' plans.

The peloton seemed relaxed as it departed Be'er Sheva with a trio managing to escape pretty easily consisting of Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF) and Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec).

According to Ministry of Tourism estimates: to date, more than half a billion people around the world have been exposed to the ministry's campaign, within the framework of the Giro d'Italia Big Start in Israel.

"For me, Israel has already won this race, as it afforded hundreds of millions of TV spectators to see our attractive country, and feel the warmth of our people, bearing witness that Israel is a diverse, open, free and safe country".

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