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Friday 21 September 2018

Bennett third as Yates extends lead

THIRD: Sam Bennett. Photo: AP
THIRD: Sam Bennett. Photo: AP

Simon Yates extended his overall lead as Matej Mohoric won stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia from Penne to Gualdo Tadino.

Ireland's Sam Bennett finished third yesterday as Yates picked up three more seconds on defending champion Tom Dumoulin by taking bonuses from the intermediate sprint.

However, Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Esteban Chaves lost second place overall and dropped out of the top 10 in a blow for his team.

Yates now leads by 41 seconds from Dutchman Dumoulin, with Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ in third at 46 seconds.

What was expected to be a quiet transition stage - over the longest distance of the entire Giro at 244km - turned into a frantic day of racing after Chaves was dropped on the category two climb which opened the day's racing.

With Quick-Step Floor's star sprinter Elia Viviani, in the points leaders' cyclamen jersey, with Chaves, the race split into two as general classification and sprint teams in the peloton worked together to distance them.

With 90km left the second group gave up the chase and attention turned to the front, where Yates nipped ahead of Pinot to take the three bonus seconds from the intermediate sprint.

Stage

A series of attacks began late in the day with stage honours on the line, and as the tension increased Dumoulin was caught in a small crash, with the Team Sunweb man needing a bike change.

As the attacks petered out, Slovenian Mohoric of Bahrain-Merida stayed clear alongside AG2R La Mondiale's Nico Denz and had enough to hold off the German at the line, winning some 34 seconds ahead of the main bunch, led by sprinter Bennett of Bora-Hansgrohe.

Chris Froome finished safely in the pack and now sits two-and-a-half minutes off pink, though he moves up to 10th after Chaves' struggles.

Today's stage 11 covers 156km from Assisi to Osimo.

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