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Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took his first Grand Tour victory when he out-sprinted Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) to the stage 7 finish line at the Giro d'Italia. The stage was a 159-km run from Pizzo Calabro near Vibo Valentia to Praia a Mare near Cosenza.

A supremely strong ride from the Kiwi climber has seen him claim fourth place on stage six, a result which leaps him into ninth place on the overall general classification.

"I feel relieved", Bennett, who was second, third, third and third on stages last year and third twice in this year, said afterwards. We tried our best to set a tempo but no one really wanted to respect that.

Rewind to last year's Giro d'Italia and Sam Bennett was constantly knocking on the door. "So I got confidence from the fact that they can go a little bit deeper than me with their spikes of power, but that they can't sustain it, and I have to keep reminding myself of that".

"It was very hard to get Viviani's wheel, everyone wanted that wheel, and we had to fight for it".

Simon Yates has denied that he has become Mitchelton-Scott's de facto leader at the Giro d'Italia now that he is wearing the pink jersey of the race leader.

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Yates is one of the favourites for final victory, along with reigning champ Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands and Briton Chris Froome. "For us as a team it was ideal".

In the General standings substantial rearrangements did not happen - the second day in a row the pink Jersey was retained by the representative of "Mitchelton-Scott" Simon Yates. A bit stressful at the final, as always, but okay.

"Tomorrow, if I have the legs, I might try something". At one stage I thought Quickstep had gone too early and they were looking back to check me out and I was wondering were they trying to panic me and get me to go early again.

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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