May 11, 2018 / 3:47 PM / 10 months ago

Bennett pips Viviani to Giro stage win

Cycling - the 101st Giro d'Italia cycling race - The 153-km Stage 5 from Agrigento to Santa Ninfa, Italy - May 9, 2018 - Riders are silhouetted during the 5th stage in Porto Empedocle, Italy. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

PRAIA A MARE, Italy (Reuters) - Ireland’s Sam Bennett beat Elia Viviani in a sprint finish to win the seventh stage of the Giro, a 159-km ride along the Tyrrhenian sea on Friday.

Italian Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), already winner 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.

Italian Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) took third place.

“I’m really happy. We tried so hard in other sprints but never got the timing right. The team did a fantastic job and want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point,” said Bennett.

Briton Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retained the overall leader’s pink jersey after an uneventful ride from Pizzo, a day after he took the maglia rosa by finishing second in the stage ending up Mount Etna.

Saturday’s eighth stage is a 208-km ride from Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano.

Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Chopra

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