Bennett sprints to stage triumph

With the sprinters coming to the fore, the general classification contenders enjoyed an easier stage, after the shake-up in the mountains yesterday which saw Bennett launch into the top 10 and Simon Yates take over the pink jersey.

The peloton swept up Davide Ballerini, the last survivor of the day's breakaway, with 14 kilometres left of the 159km stage from Pizzo.

Favorite Chris Froome could not follow Chaves and Yates, and finished with the followers at 26 seconds.

It was a perfectly constructed race by Mitchelton-Scott - with Kiwi Sam Bewley helping out deep into the stage - as they managed to sneak the unsafe Chaves into an incredible 28 man breakaway to begin the stage.

In a final sprint, the Colombian rider of the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team defeated Britain's Simon Yates.

"I had to freewheel for a moment because I knew it was just a bit too early". I think also I'm in the king of the mountains jersey - it's like a dream.

Dennis has repeatedly said that he is using the 2018 Giro to test his limits in terms of being competitive in the overall classification of Grand Tours, and, although no longer in the lead, given his all-round performance on Thursday, he was upbeat about continuing to do that long-term.

"I had to get that wheel and show a bit of patience".

Reviewing the start of the stage, he said: "It was a bit insane, and there was no control".

"I feel relieved", was an emotional Bennett's first reaction.

"There s still a lot of work ahead of us, but there s still a lot of racing to come".

Bennett said the first six days of the tour had been hectic but was pleased with the support he was getting from his teamates.

"Nothing changes from today".

Dennis was far from despondent at losing the pink jersey.

"When Yates went I had to go (with him) but I had already gone three times before and I'm quite disappointed in myself". When I was in his wheel, at 6 or 7 km to go, he was still looking good.

  • Stacy Allen