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Thursday 18 October 2018

Three for Sam: Bennett wins again as Froome takes title

 

WINNER: Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the finish line to take the last stage of the Giro d’Italia in Rome. Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
WINNER: Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrates as he crosses the finish line to take the last stage of the Giro d’Italia in Rome. Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Ireland's Sam Bennett won his third stage of this year's Giro D'Italia in a dramatic sprint finish in Rome.

Bennett won the final stage of the tour, seeing off the challenge of Italian rival Elia Viviani to register his third win of this year's Giro as Chris Froome won the overall prize.

The 27-year-old was riding with the Bora-Hansgrohe team, and before this year had never won a stage on one of the Grand Tours.

Victories on stage 7 and 12 gave Bennett his first Giro wins, and the Irish cyclist concluded his breakout tour in style with victory in Rome this afternoon.

Froome became Britain's first Giro d'Italia champion yesterday as he completed the set of Grand Tour victories with his third successive triumph.

Having safely negotiated the 115-kilometre, largely ceremonial final stage in Rome, the 33-year-old Team Sky rider finished 46 seconds clear of second-placed 2017 Giro champion Tom Dumoulin in the general classification.

Froome's sixth Grand Tour title, following last year's fourth Tour de France win and maiden La Vuelta victory, sees him become the seventh man to have won all three races and just the third to hold the three titles simultaneously - Eddy Merckx in 1973 and Bernard Hinault nine years later are the others to have done so.

Froome said: "I don't think it has quite sunk in yet, but I'm sure it will over the next few days once I've had a bit of time to reflect.

"It has just been incredible. Obviously for any cyclist this is the dream.

"To have all three leaders' jerseys in the space of 10 months is just an incredible, incredible feeling. I'm still pinching myself."

Froome had moved into the overall lead on Friday as he won stage 19 with a stunning ride, going from fourth in the GC, three minutes and 22 seconds off the top, to 40 seconds clear of nearest rival Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), and that extended to 46 seconds on Saturday as he all but ensured his status as champion.

Froome became Britain’s first Giro d’Italia champion. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Froome became Britain’s first Giro d’Italia champion. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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