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"Beersheba - Eilat": Elia Viviani won the second stage in a row

08 May, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Abraham Jackson
  • Nicolas Roche

Dennis secured three bonus seconds in an intermediate sprint earlier to overcome his two-second deficit from the opening time-trial in Jerusalem.

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Elia Viviani said he wouldn't have been able to win Saturday's Giro d'Italia stage in Tel Aviv had he still been riding for British team Sky.

Bennett finished third on the stage, with Team EF Education First-Drapac rider Sacha Modolo second.

Bennett finished 25th on this morning's stage to jump up another five spots on the general classification, sitting in 32nd overall, 50 seconds behind overall leader Rohan Dennis.

On Sunday evening, the riders and support teams will fly to Sicily for a rest day on Monday and resume the tour on May 8.

Cyclist ride during the last stage at the Giro d'Italia, near the Makhtesh Ramon Crater in Southern Israel on May 6, 2018. Since 2006, the Giro has commenced alternate years with a "Big-Start" competition outside of Italy.

"The pressure was off after yesterday's win". "For me, Israel has already won this race, as it afforded hundreds of millions of TV spectators to see our lovely country, and feel the warmth of our people, bearing witness that Israel is a diverse, open, free and safe country".

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The 120 million shekel (34 million dollars, 27 million euros) investment in the Israeli leg attracted thousands of tourists as spectators watched to see whether four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, victor of three Grand Tour titles in a row.

"For me, Israel has already won this race, as it afforded hundreds of millions of TV spectators to see our attractive country and feel the warmth of our people", he told The Associated Press.

"And as I understood that you really have to make the most of your time off, it was really important for me having Elena, who's a cyclist and understands these situations".

Dennis becomes only the fourth active rider to wear the leader's jersey of each of cycling's Grand Tours - after Britain's Mark Cavendish and Italian's Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali.

"This was a Giro d'Israel, a threeday tour around our special country". The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.

He praised the enthusiasm of the Israeli fans he encountered over the three days. "It is not a given when you go to a new country that maybe doesn't have a long tradition that you are welcomed with such a crowd", he said.

Deemed as the world's second most prestigious cycling competition after the Tour de France, it was arguably the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Israel.

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