Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Elia Viviani wins Giro d'Italia second stage as Rohan Dennis leads

Elia Viviani wins Giro d'Italia second stage as Rohan Dennis leads

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On Saturday, Olympic omnium champion Viviani, 29, seemed to have left his charge to the line quite late but burst through to emerge from the back wheel of Irishman Sam Bennett and surge to victory.

Australian Rohan Dennis of BMC Racing Team kept the maglia rosa that he wrestled away from defending champion Tom Dumoulin on Saturday.

Racing at the Grand Tour will resume with a 198km stage from Catania to Caltagirone on Tuesday (May 8).

The team delivered me exactly where I needed to be for the sprint and all I had to do was go as hard as I could and there was no way I couldn't win it.

The Giro d'Italia peloton faced a long 229km stage between Be'er Sheva and Eilat on Sunday, in the final stage of the race taking place in Israel.

"This morning in the first two hours I felt really bad and my energy was low despite my win yesterday", Viviani said.

Mullen is the best of the Irish on the overall general classification in 46th position, 58 seconds off the lead, while Bennett is 64th, 14 seconds behind his compatriot. The Giro will end in Rome on May 27.

The Giro d'Italia's Israeli excursion is over, and now the excitement begins. While there were fewer spectators Sunday due to the sparsely populated southern Negev Desert than the two previous stages, the riders were still cheered on by locals banging drums and strumming guitars.

"Fans have supported us as if they were a real big cycling country".

"The way the fans responded these three days, we've been impressed - we've also spoken about it amongst the riders - a Tour of Israel could be a good thing one day", he said.

Another Italian, Enrico Barbin of Bardiani-CSF, secured the first blue king of the mountains jersey of the 101st edition of the race after picking his way through the crowds to crest the summit of the only categorised climb of the day in pole position.

Israel Cycling Academy co-owner Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli cycling enthusiast who played a key role in bringing the Giro to Israel, said it was a dream come true.

The three Grand Tours now have a tradition of starting outside their home country every second year.

Giro d'Italia is the biggest and most prestigious sporting event staged in Israel and coincides with the Jewish state's 70th anniversary.

"For me, Israel has already won this race, as it afforded hundreds of millions of TV spectators to see our attractive country and feel the warmth of our people", he told The Associated Press.

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