Kiwi cyclist George Bennett maintains top 10 place at Giro d'Italia

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett maintains top 10 place at Giro d'Italia

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett maintains top 10 place at Giro d'Italia

Bennett is the first Irishman to win a stage of the Giro since Stephen Roche in 1987.

Yates has looked in excellent form throughout the first week of the Giro, posting a top-10 result in the opening-day prologue in Jerusalem and consistently finishing towards the front of stages. Bennett was the last to launch his sprint but the Irish rider managed to edge out Elia Viviani and claim his first win in a Grand Tour.

Bennett said the key to his win was grabbing Viviani's wheel and a bit of patience.

From Friday, after the opening two stages in Isreal were followed by three days in Sicily, the Giro continues on the Italian mainland with the 159km seventh stage between Pizzo and Praia a Mare in Calabria.

Colombia rider Esteban Chaves won the 164-kilometer Mount Etna stage on Thursday, jumping to third place in the general classification of the Giro d'Italia.

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

The presence of Tony Martin in the first attack of the day meant that the break didn't get away as easily as it did on stages two to five, but it didn't take long before the three-man move of Maxim Belkov, Markel Irizar, and Davide Ballerini were allowed to escape. "I want to thank them all for the support, the team that's working hard behind the scenes and everybody that helped me to get to this point in my career".

"It felt really good", Yates told Eurosport.

New Zealand's George Bennett finished towards the rear of the peloton in 30th and remains ninth overall.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) maintained his lead in the overall classification 16 seconds ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and 26 seconds ahead of teammate and stage 6 victor Esteban Chaves.

Britain's Team Sky rider and Tour de France champion Chris Froome lies eights, 1:10 off the lead. "For us as a team it was flawless". A bit stressful at the final, as always, but okay.

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

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