Bennett wins 7th stage, Yates stays pink (3)

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

Italian Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), already victor of two stages in the 2018 race, started his effort a tad too early and was eventually overpowered by Bora- Hansgrohe's Bennett, who claimed his maiden grand tour stage win.

The stage was won by Esteban Chaves, whose Mitchelton-Scott teammate Simon Yates crossed the line immediately after him and took the overall lead of the race in the process.

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.

Yates now leads Tom Dumoulin by 16s in the race for the pink jersey, while Chaves' victory lifts him up into third place.

Dennis (BMC Racing) is 53 seconds behind Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France and becomes the fourth Briton to wear the pink jersey after Mark Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins and David Millar. "I thought we had left it too late but the timing was right and I could use my power to get an advantage".

He now sits one minute and 11 seconds down on Yates, but has launched into the top 10 of the general classification, and based on this morning's showing, there should be a lot more to come over the next two weeks. "I had a bit of a gap so I took the chance and in the end it worked out".

Team Sky's Chris Froome continued to be off the pace and is sitting in eighth place, 1m 10s behind Yates. Obviously, I really want to win again, but it's going to be more relaxing because today I felt a lot of pressure.

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

The only force he couldn't match was the superb showing from the Mitchelton-Scott team, who achieved a rare 1-2 finish atop the mountainous finish.

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