Five talking points from stage seven of the Giro d'Italia

Colombia's Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d'Italia's Mount Etna stage

Simon Yates surges up Mount Etna to take race lead in Giro d'Italia

But Bennett, from Carrick-on-Suir, stuck to his rival and just pipped the home favourite to the line to become the first Irish victor of a Giro stage since Stephen...

Some 26 seconds later Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) crossed the line to round off the podium and then it was a case of seeing how much damage to GC hopes the climb up Mount Etna made. Viviani won two of the opening three stages.

Yates took the famous maglia rosa after a scorching performance on Mount Etna on Thursday and the 25-year-old from Bury retained it on a relatively uneventful seventh stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare on Friday.

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"I feel as if I m getting better and better each day after Israel now, with the bigger picture in mind of getting to the third week as strong as possible and obviously this is the first main objective of the season for me and things are still on track".

They were caught with 14 kilometers remaining as the peloton powered to the sprint finish and victory for Bennett and his Bora-Hansgrohe team.

"Chaves had been out on the road all day, so he deserved the stage win", said Yates, who takes the pink jersey from Australian Rohan Dennis of BMC.

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Team Sky's Chris Froome, bidding to complete a Grand Tour triple crown, is a minute and 10 seconds back in eighth spot after finishing 10th. "So I got confidence from the fact that they can go a little bit deeper than me with their spikes of power, but that they can't sustain it, and I have to keep reminding myself of that". "It was a little bit stressful in the final but it's always like that". "I still need to get some time on Tom Dumoulin and some other guys who are better time trialists than me".

Both stage eight to Montevergine di Mercogliano and stage nine to Gran Sasso d'Italia feature summit finishes at the end of 200km+ stages, with the latter being particularly brutish with what is effectively a 47km climb (with a few short descents along the way) at the end of a massive 224km stage.

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