Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) outsprinted Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) to take stage seven of the 2018 Giro d’Italia. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished safely in the bunch and retains the overall lead.
The 159km stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare was always likely to end in a bunch sprint, but with two stage wins to his name already, Viviani was a strong favourite.
Bennett had finished third on both previous sprint stages and after many near-misses, proclaimed himself ‘relieved’ to have notched his first Grand Tour victory.
He said: “With so many fast sprinters here, timing was the key and also taking Viviani's wheel. It's not easy to beat him.”
Bennett is the first Irishman to win a stage of the Giro since Stephen Roche in 1987.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s summit finish, race leader Simon Yates said: “It was a good first day in the Maglia Rosa, relaxed at the start. A good breakaway went very fast. For us as a team it was perfect. A bit stressful at the final, as always, but okay.
“Tomorrow if I have the legs I might try something. I still need to get some time on Tom Dumoulin and some other guys who are better time trialists than me.”
'That was genius timing!'
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) May 11, 2018
— Velon CC (@VelonCC) May 11, 2018