Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Sam Bennett: I'm just so much more relaxed after win

Sam Bennett: I'm just so much more relaxed after win

George Bennett underwent his first real test at the Giro d'Italia this morning, and he has passed with flying colours. Bennett was the last to launch his sprint but the Irish rider managed to edge out Elia Viviani and claim his first win in a Grand Tour.

FDJ s Thibaut Pinot finished third, 26 seconds behind the leading pair, after a 164km ride between Caltanissetta and the summit finish at Etna, with Froome finishing in the same time as the Frenchman.

The 28-year-old comfortably saw his way through the flat 159km course from Pizzo to Praia a Mare to finish in the peloton in 30th position.

"I'm obviously delighted to get my first Grand Tour victory".

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

"I feel relieved", was an emotional Bennett's first reaction.

"It was incredible to wear the pink jersey - something I was hoping for, but you never really expect it".

Yates attacked the field in the last two kilometres and now boasts a 16-second gap over nearest challenger, reigning champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.

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Simon Yates of the Australia-based Mitchelton-Scott team remains in the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey after a seventh stage won by Sam Bennett of Ireland.

Chris Froome now trails Yates by 70 seconds on a day when he again looked below his best, although the four-time Tour de France victor did move up 11 places to eighth overall. "For us as a team it was ideal".

"Tomorrow, if I have the legs, I might try something". 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. The finish point of the day on the mountain is the second category of MONTEVERGINE di Mercogliano with a length of 17.1 kilometer.

In fact, many of them are packed with mountainous climbs and it will be a struggle for some of the fast man to make it as far as Rome on 27 May.

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