Irish fast man Bennett outsprints Elia Viviani in Praia a Mare

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Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Bora – Hansgrohe) grabbed his first Grand Tour victory at the age of 27 after two third places in the 101st Giro d’Italia. This time around, he timed his last effort perfectly to overtake hot favourite Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors). A flat stage meant no issues for Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott), who retains the Maglia Rosa ahead of another uphill finish at Montevergine di Mercogliano.

STATISTICS

  • Sam Bennett claimed the fifth stage win for Irish riders at the Giro. The first one was Seamus Elliott in 1960; the last one was Stephen Roche in 1987 in stage 22 (the conclusive ITT in Saint-Vincent). Interestingly, Roche took the Maglia Rosa for good in 1987 at Sappada where the Giro returns this year for the first time, on May 20, for the 15th stage.
  • Before taking his first-ever Grand Tour victory, Bennett recorded a second place last year on stage 13 to Tortona and five third places: stage 5 to Messina, stage 7 to Alberolbello, and stage 12 to Reggio Emilia last year; stage 2 to Tel Aviv and stage 3 to Eilat this year.
  • It’s the 10th stage podium for Elia Viviani (3 wins, 4 second places, 3 third places) but the first podium at the Giro d’Italia for Niccolo Bonifazio.

 

FINAL RESULT
1 – Sam Bennett (Bora – Hansgrohe) – 159km in 3h45’27”, average speed 42.315km/h
2 – Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) s.t.
3 – Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain – Merida) s.t.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1 – Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott)
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 16″
3 – Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton – Scott) at 26″

General Rankings

JERSEYS

  • Maglia Rosa(pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott)
  • Maglia Ciclamino(cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo – Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
  • Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton – Scott)
  • Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team)

 

PRESS CONFERENCE
The stage winner, Sam Bennett, said: “Being the first Irish stage winner since Stephen Roche in 1987 shows how hard it is to win a stage at the Giro d’Italia. I’m obviously happy to get my first Grand Tour victory. It was a question of keeping faith and being patient. I knew I had the ability to win and the last six weeks had gone smooth. I also did well in the first two sprints. Today it just clicked. This success will give the team more confidence in me and we’ll enjoy more respect in the bunch.”

The Maglia Ciclamino, Elia Viviani, said: “We lost a lot of positions in the last 5km in the tunnels. My guys and I had to spend a lot of energy to come up. I was on their wheel but Bennett was always on my wheel. He was tactically very good. Modolo went early but I also went early. In such a sprint on the seaside, the wind has a strong effect. That’s how Bonifazio came third from behind. The last three stages were also heavy in my legs. Every sprint has its different story. This one, with 5km to go, you’d think I wouldn’t be able to win but the team brought me back to the front. We are fast but today we were beaten by a faster one and we’ll move on to the next challenge.”

The Maglia Rosa, Simon Yates, said: “It was a very special day, of course – my first time leading a Grand Tour – so I felt a bit nervous at the start but it went well because the breakaway went early. Etna was my favourite climb on paper, with punch and rest, unlike tomorrow. Montevergine is a steady climb. But if my legs are good, maybe I’ll go again. I still have to look for some time on the climbs. Normally, over three weeks, I’m quite a consistent rider.”

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