Viviani wins 3rd stage as Giro bids farewell to Israel

Viviani wins 3rd stage as Giro bids farewell to Israel

Sunweb had little intention of defending Dumoulin's pink jersey so early, and none of the top sprinters kept themselves close enough in the time trial to take advantage of bonus seconds.

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It was Viviani's second consecutive stage victory after he also won the race's second stage from Haifa to Tel Aviv on Saturday.

The Italian survived a near-brush with the safety barriers on the side of the road as he sprinted to the stage three finish in the Red Sea resort, edging out compatriot Sacha Modolo with Irishman Sam Bennett third.

(AFP) - Australia's Rohan Dennis took the race leader's pink jersey off reigning champion Tom Dumoulin as Italy's Elia Viviani won the Giro d'Italia second stage in Tel Aviv on Saturday. 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.

After Monday's rest day as the race packs up and travels from Israel back to Europe, the 101st edition of the Giro continues on Tuesday with the hilly 198km stage from Catania to Caltagirone in Sicily.

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.

I don't know if it was the shock of racing again after five weeks but whatever the reason as Ed Sheeran might say, my legs didn't work like they used to before.

The 36-year-old aims to return to racing after the Giro d'Italia at the Tour de Pologne, then "come back for the Vuelta and be on the look-out for some stage wins".

"To be honest I always raced without thinking about my competitors", said Viviani, who won a track gold medal at the 2016 Olympics and rides for Quick-Step Floors.

I felt like throwing up after about 500m and eventually lost a minute and 14 seconds to Dumoulin to finish 116th. He is now 19th, 38 seconds behind the leader. From Cervinia, the Giro will move on May 27th to Rome for the 21 and last stage.

Dennis said the ride through the desert was not as hot as originally feared and that strong winds were the main obstacle.

Since 2006, the Giro has commenced alternate years with a "Big-Start" competition outside of Italy.

Israel Cycling Academy co-owner Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli cycling enthusiast who played a key role in bringing the Giro to Israel, said it was a dream come true.

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

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