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Giro d’Italia Stage 7: Simon Yates retains overall lead as Ireland’s Sam Bennett takes first Grand Tour stage win (+ video)

Elia Viviani second

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.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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