Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Italian Elia Viviani secures second consecutive stage win in Giro D'Italia

Nicolas Roche Nicolas Roche
Jennie Wade | 07 May, 2018, 06:26

Quick-Step Floor's Elia Viviani took his second straight race win in stage three of the Giro d'Italia, which finished in Eilat, Israel, today. Sam Bennett (BORA-Hansgrohe) came in third.

"I have competed in the Classics so I was ready for 230km today. It was chaotic because of all those corners and roundabouts, but we can be proud of ourselves", Viviani said.

Rohan of BMC Racing keeps the pink jersey after finishing in the peloton.

Froome, who bloodied his right knee and ripped his shorts and jersey in the crash shortly before the time trial started, finished 37 seconds behind Dumoulin in 21st place.

"I wasn't overly keen to do it but the team said we're doing it and they did an excellent job, they delivered me perfectly", said Dennis.

"The plan was to just play it by ear initially", Dennis said after the stage.

Honorary President of "Big Start" Israel Sylvan Adams said: "I thought we reached the pinnacle Thursday with the Team Presentations and gala opening party. I think Viviani sprinted but didn't go full gas so it was good to see him get the stage win after, not exactly gifting me the intermediate sprint, but he was kind, let's be honest". It was massive teamwork. "In Sicily, I'll take it day by day and try to stay in pink as long as possible". It's a special feeling to have the Maglia Rosa. It's a great jersey and it's a real honor to be the leader of a Grand Tour and for our team, we wanted to do it for Andy Rihs.

With the opening time trial and two sprint stages complete, the Giro will head to hillier territory as the riders travel to Italy, where the contenders will seperate themselves from the pack.

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"It was insane", sad Viviani, "there were so many people coming onto roads - I'll take that away with me!"

Israelis lined the coastal route to see the first Grand Tour to be held outside Europe. "I saw guys do things like this and I always thought that was really fantastic so to be a part of that little group is a real honor".

"It was ideal", said the Sunweb rider, who won his fourth Giro stage and is the first reigning champion for 12 years to also claim the opening stage of the following Giro edition.

The 120 million shekel (34 million dollars, 27 million euros) investment in the Israeli leg attracted thousands of tourists as spectators watched to see whether four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, victor of three Grand Tour titles in a row.

After a frantic start, Lars Bak (Lotto-FixAll), Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec) and Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy) established a 3min 30sec lead, but by the time they arrived at the bottom of the ascent that advantage was gone and Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF) crossed the top first.

In the last meters of the sprint interchanges Viviani nearly collided with Sam Bennett, who at the last moment went to the side and eliminated the possibility of mass obstruction.

Stage 3 will follow a lengthy 229-kilometer (143-mile) route on Sunday from Beersheba in the Negev desert down to Israel's southern tip of Eilat along the Red Sea. The Giro will end in Rome on May 27.

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