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