Thursday 24 May 2018

Watch: Ireland's Sam Bennett becomes first Irishman to win a stage at the Giro in 31 years after frantic sprint finish

Irish rider Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the finish line, winning the 159 km seventh stage of the 101th Giro d'Italia
Irish rider Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the finish line, winning the 159 km seventh stage of the 101th Giro d'Italia
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's Sam Bennett won stage seven of the Giro d'Italia as Britain's Simon Yates retained the pink jersey.

Bennett pipped stage favourite Elia Viviani in a sprint finish in Praia a Mare to claim his maiden grand tour stage victory.

Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished safely in the bunch to retain his 16-second lead over reigning champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) in the general classification standings.

Team Sky's Chris Froome, aiming to win a third successive grand tour, remains eighth, 70 seconds behind his race-leading compatriot.

The peloton swept up Davide Ballerini, the last survivor of the day's breakaway, with 14 kilometres left of the 159km stage from Pizzo.

The sprint teams then took charge ahead of a technical finish on Italy's west coast.

And it was Bora-Hansgrohe left celebrating victory as Bennett latched on to the wheel of Quick-Step Floors' Viviani and overcame the Italian in the closing metres.

Bennett is the first Irish winner of a Giro d'Italia stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

“I’m really happy,” said Bennett. “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.”

Watch the exciting finish below:

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