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Sam Bennett narrows gap to points jersey after gritty Giro ride

Posted on: May 15th, 2018

Sam Bennett 3rd on stage 10 Giro d'Italia 2018

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett was to the fore today when the rest of the sprinters had fallen by the wayside on the 152 mile Giro stage 10 with climbing; all in wet conditions. He has closed the gap to Elia Viviani in the points classification, though has more to do.

 

Sam Bennett 3rd on stage 10 at Giro d’Italia 2018

 

Irish sprinter Sam Bennett has taken 3rd place on stage 10 at the Giro d’Italia, closing in on the points jersey.

He rode a great race but was denied victory by a two-man breakaway. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) outsprinted Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) for victory.

They proved strongest on a day full of aggression; attacking up the final climb – a cat 4 crested with 35km to the finish.

And just 34 seconds after they fought it out for the victory, Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) would win the sprint from what remained of the peloton for 3rd place.

Ireland waited 31 years between its last stage win at the Giro and Bennett’s victory last Friday.

And today it was hoped the Carrick-on-Suir man may deliver again, just four days after his first triumph.

It was the kind of stage that would suit sprinters who can climb a little and so it had Bennett’s name written all over it.

 

Sam Bennett 3rd on stage 10 Giro d'Italia 2018

Sam Bennett 3rd on stage 10 Giro d'Italia 2018

Matej Mohoric wins into Gualdo Tadino. Simon Yates celebrates another day in pink.

 

When Elia Viviani (QuickStep) was distanced early, the Irishman’s status as favourite grew further; though he has beaten Viviani many times, including last Friday.

But when the eventual winner and runner-up took flight, Bennett was riding for 3rd place.

However, the fact he was in the hunt at the end on a day when the other fastmen fell by the wayside revealed Bennett’s superior versatility.

He collected points for his third place today. That cut by 12 Viviani’s 78-point advantage over Bennett this morning.

Today’s stage was an enormous 244km, or 152 miles, from Penne to Gualdo Tadino. The parcours contained a number of climbs, including an early second category ascent.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished in the bunch today and so retains his race leader’s maglia rosa.

The big news today was the demise of Yates’ team mate Esteban Chaves. He began the day 2nd overall and leading the climbers classification.

However, the Mount Etna stage winner trailed home, in a group with Viviani, many minutes down; apparently struck down by illness or allergy.

One of the big favourites, defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) crashed in the rain during the last hour of racing.  However, he recovered and regained the bunch, which numbered just 60 by the finish.

Nicolas Roche (BMC) would also finish safely in the small peloton; the 34th rider across the line.

Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) finished in a large group 30:14 down, and in 149th position.

 

 

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