Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

Elia Viviani claims second straight stage win at Giro d'Italia

Elia Viviani claims second straight stage win at Giro d'Italia

Italy's Elia Viviani produced a late stunning sprint to win a thrilling Giro d'Italia second stage in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

Speaking seconds after the stage finish, the stage victor Viviani said: “In the first two hours of racing I felt very bad.

Dennis finished in the peloton and will wear the pink jersey on Sunday.

This followed on from a Friday 9.7 kilometer individual time trial in Jerusalem and a Saturday 167 kilometer race that saw cyclists cover the distance from Tel Aviv to Haifa.

It was deja-vu at the Giro d'Italia after Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) took Stage 3 into the Red Sea coastal town of Eilat outsprinting Sacha Modolo (EF-Drapac) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

When I found out a few days ago that I was off third last today, in between Chris Froome and former world time trial champion Tony Martin, my cousin Eric reassured me that at least if I wasn't going well the cameras would probably be focused on the other two anyway.

The fourth stage will be held in Sicily (Catania - Calagione, 198 km). "But the final straight was good for me".

The 229 kilometre stage from Beesheba to Eilat was expected to end in a sprint finish, but a three man breakaway sought to spring a surprise.

Italy's Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Triestina) and Dutchman Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) completed the top five as Australia's Rohan Dennis (BMC) retained the pink jersey on the eve of the race returning to Italy after the historic grande partenza in Israel.

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The Dutch Team Sunweb rider remained in second place overall as Jose Goncalves of Team Katusha-Alpecin moved into third.

He was 19th, 38 seconds behind the leader.

The Giro has been warmly embraced in Israel.

They encountered Israeli flag-waving fans and spectators on horseback wearing the maglia rosa along the way, and even passed a group of goat herders.

"I think Viviani, he sprinted but he didn't go full", admitted Dennis.

Viviani admitted he had been taken aback by Israel since arriving in the country on Tuesday, and not just because he wasn't expecting fans to be too hot on cycling.

Israel Cycling Academy's Guillaume Boivin was cheered on by the home crowd as the Canadian, along with Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF), led the race from the start.

Many in the country associated with organizing the Big Start Israel gave a sigh of relief as the riders crossed the finish line on Sunday, capping off the most complicated, expensive, and logistically challenging sporting event Israel has ever hosted, according to Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev.

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