Chaves edges new Giro leader Yates on Stage 6

Posted May 14, 2018

It was another Bennett which ended up taking the honours on the latest stage, with Ireland's Sam Bennett claiming his first victory of the year, and his maiden stage win in a grand tour, seeing off Italian Elia Viviani - victor of the first two stages - in a sprint finish.

But Bennett stuck to his rival and just pipped the home favourite to the line to become the first Irish victor of a Giro stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France, leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin by 16 seconds.

"It was awesome to wear the pink jersey - something I was hoping for, but you never really expect it".

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With a broken down ferry meaning that some riders were forced to spend five hours sat on the team bus getting to their hotels after Thursday's Mount Etna stage, today - at least until the final 15km - provided exactly the sort of easy day that they would have hoped for.

Bennett's one minute eleven seconds behind the overall leader Simon Yates of England but believes that difference could be much less had he ridden a smarter race.

First, the riders will take on the summit finish of the Montevergine di Mercogliano - a 17.1 kilometre climb which is less hard than stage six's Etna, but is likely to still only leave the best climbers standing at the end, due to the length of the climb.

"I had to freewheel for a moment because I knew it was just a bit too early". Obviously, I really want to win again, but it's going to be more relaxing because today I felt a lot of pressure. 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.

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Their British rider Simon Yates is the new race leader after finishing second in the 163km stage.

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

Four-time Tour de France victor Froome was in eighth place, 1 minute, 10 seconds behind.

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