Bennett shines on big stage at the Giro

Esteban Chaves

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett has rocketed into the top 10 of this year's Giro d'Italia, after grabbing a fourth placed finish on the sixth stage of the Italian tour overnight.

Simon Yates of the Australia-based Mitchelton-Scott team remains in the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey after a seventh stage won by Sam Bennett of Ireland.

Bennett is the first Irishman to win a stage of the Giro since Stephen Roche in 1987.

Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France, leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin by 16 seconds.

'It felt really good, ' said the Bury rider.

After a gruelling final climb along a 150m stretch of road, Aru crossed the line - under the shadow of the Etna Astrophysical Observatory - with the main peloton, just 26 seconds behind race victor Johan Eseban Chavez (Mitchelton Scott). At one stage I thought Quickstep had gone too early and they were looking back to check me out and I was wondering were they trying to panic me and get me to go early again.

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Dutch rider Dumoulin is now second overall at 16sec behind Yates.

Chris Froome now trails Yates by 70 seconds on a day when he again looked below his best, although the four-time Tour de France victor did move up 11 places to eighth overall. "I had a bit of a gap so I took the chance and in the end it worked out". "I'm not that far behind the leaders, and what I'm thinking is that if I can stay somewhat within reach, then hopefully I can still perform quite well, and the [stage 16] time trial will help me out as well".

By that stage Colombian Chaves had broken clear and looked to have the stage win sealed.

The peloton being controlled by Quick-Step, Willier and Mitchelton Scott obviously with the former aiming to put Elia Viviani in prime position come the finish.

"I'm really happy. We tried so hard in other sprints but never got the timing right".

Bennett is the first Irish victor of a Giro d'Italia stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

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