Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Chaves edges new Giro leader Yates on Stage 6

Chaves edges new Giro leader Yates on Stage 6

But Bennett stuck to his rival and just pipped the home favourite to the line to become the first Irish victor of a Giro stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

FDJ s Thibaut Pinot finished third, 26 seconds behind the leading pair, after a 164km ride between Caltanissetta and the summit finish at Etna, with Froome finishing in the same time as the Frenchman.

Bennett has stressed the importance of patience at the Giro - making sure he is in form in the final week - but he will also know how crucial it is to not lose time on the upcoming two stages. The stage was a 159-km run from Pizzo Calabro near Vibo Valentia to Praia a Mare near Cosenza.

Mitchelton-Scott took first and second in the stage, sending Yates leapfrogging past Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin in the GC to take the pink jersey from BMC's Rohan Dennis.

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"I feel relieved", Bennett, who was second, third, third and third on stages last year and third twice in this year, said afterwards.

"My time came - at one point I thought it would never come".

There was an early break of three cyclists and the peloton allowed Davide Ballerini, Markel Irizar and Maxim Belkov an advantage of more than four minutes before it began to reel them in.

With the sprinters coming to the fore, the general classification contenders enjoyed an easier stage, after the shake-up in the mountains yesterday which saw Bennett launch into the top 10 and Simon Yates take over the pink jersey.

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Team Sky's Chris Froome continued to be off the pace and is sitting in eighth place, 1m 10s behind Yates. "For us as a team it was flawless. It was good that with not the best legs I could still hang on", said Dumoulin in his post-stage media responsibilities.

Yates added: "I felt really good, I looked across the road and everyone was looking at each other".

Stage eight tomorrow will consist of a 209km mountain stage from Praia a Mare to Montevergine.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.

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