Bennett curses latest finish in Giro d'Italia

Bennett curses latest finish in Giro d'Italia

The Irishman scored the biggest win of his career - the first in a Grand Tour - by beating Elia Viviani (Quick Step Floors) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) after 159km of relatively flat racing on the Italian coast.

Yates' Mitchelton-Scott teammate, Esteban Chaves, remained third overall, 26 seconds behind.

BC-CYC-Giro d'Italia, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 384 Bennett wins 7th stage as Yates maintains Giro d'Italia leadAP Photo PRA102, PRA101, PRA105, PRA106Eds: Updates with Yates quotes.

Yates now leads Tom Dumoulin by 16s in the race for the pink jersey, while Chaves' victory lifts him up into third place.

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"I felt really good", Yates said afterwards.

After a gruelling final climb along a 150m stretch of road, Aru crossed the line - under the shadow of the Etna Astrophysical Observatory - with the main peloton, just 26 seconds behind race victor Johan Eseban Chavez (Mitchelton Scott).

Yates started the day in third place, 17 seconds behind race leader Rohan Dennis, before the gruelling 169km stage to a finish on the Sicilian volcano.

He now sits one minute and 11 seconds down on Yates, but has launched into the top 10 of the general classification, and based on this morning's showing, there should be a lot more to come over the next two weeks. "There was a little bit of a gap, so I took the chance".

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Britain's Simon Yeats remains in the leader's pink jersey after he finished safely in the peloton.

"I am happy to have made it through the stage without any major issues and to have been up there with the main GC guys bar Chaves and Yates - who rode an wonderful race today".

He is on a long-term project to transition from a time trial specialist into becoming an overall contender for the three-week Grand Tours - the Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.

"The first few stages I got the timing a bit wrong".

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Dennis said that BMC had performed well on Stage 6, despite the intense pressure of having a huge break with some key GC challengers up the road after just 50km.

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