Viviani wins second Giro stage in a row as Dennis keeps pink

Elia Viviani wins Stage 2 as Rohan Dennis takes pink
Giro d'Italia 2018 standings: Rohan Dennis takes the lead as Elia Viviani wins stage two

08 May, 2018

In fact, it wasn't until the very last rider, defending champion Tom Dumoulin, crossed the line a mere two seconds faster that he was ousted, which must have been very disappointing for him.

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Elia Viviani made it a double delight in Israel on Sunday as he won his second Giro d Italia stage in a row in a bunch sprint finish at Eilat.

Viviani was well off the pace with less than two kilometres to go but the Italian powered home to win comfortably ahead of Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Irishman Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). The general classification was unlikely to change on the predominantly flat route however, with the GC contenders eyeing the upcoming stage on return to Italy.

Monday is a rest day and on Tuesday the Giro moves to Italy and Sicily for a hillly stage. "But the time trial in Jerusalem was simply magical, as the helicopter footage of this historic and splendid city, lined with cheering fans, took it up to another level", said honorary president of "Big Start" Israel Sylvan Adams.

"The win, everyone was expecting but doing it is never easy", Viviani said. "I've got the best lead-out team for the sprints, so I don't really care who I am up against".

It remains to be seen whether Froome is 100 per cent recovered from that crash.

"I have chosen to do the Giro this year".

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Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton.

Barbin attacked at the outset of the second-longest stage of the race, joining forces with Canada's Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy) and compatriot Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec) to build up maximum lead of seven-and-a-half minutes over the sluggish pack.

Race leader Rohan Dennis has also been bowled over by the Israeli fans' enthusiasm for the race.

Having previously held the race leader s jersey at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, this was the first time Dennis had managed to hold onto one for more than a day.

Jerusalem's opening leg was named in honor of Gino Bartali, a three-time former Giro champion who in 2013 was posthumously bestowed Israel's highest honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II. The Giro will end in Rome on May 27.

"It was a heavy workload for me, my team-mates and, obviously, for our respective families", he said.

"We don't know if it's because it's a big event or whether it's for cycling but the atmosphere has been special in these three days".

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