Ireland's Sam Bennett wins stage seven of the Giro d'Italia

Simon Yates in the pink as Giro d'Italialeader

Chaves now has four Grand Tour stage wins to his name.

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

It worked a charm, as Viviani found his way onto the wheel of Sacha Modolo as the sprint began, sprinting past him at an opportune moment, but only to see Bennett speed by in the final 50 metres to claim a quality win.

Praia a Mare, May 11 - Ireland's Sam Bennett won the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia in a mass spring finish Friday while Briton Simon Yates kept the leader's pink jersey he won on Etna Thursday.

In a fast and furious conclusion to the flat 159km stage along the Calabrian coast in the toe of Italy, Bora-Hansrohe's Bennett turned the tables on hot favourite Viviani of Quick-Step Floors to take the biggest scalp of his career.

Third spot went to Niccolo Bonifazio who had a puncture with just a few kilometres to go and had to fight his way back through the peloton to be in contention.

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"I'm really happy. We tried so hard in other sprints but never got the timing right". I was hoping not today and that I would get a little bit more confidence from the race, but there is still time.

Davide Ballerini (Androni-Giocattoli), Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin) were the three riders who formed the day's break after a feisty opening 10km that saw the experienced Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) thwarted in an earlier attempt to break free.

Yates had started the day in third place, 17 seconds behind overall leader Rohan Dennis, but he now goes into stage seven with a 16-second advantage over Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin, with Chaves moving up to third.

Mitchelton-Scott are yet to win a Grand Tour and the Yates-Chaves double act on Mt Etna is one of the highlights of their six-year history.

Bennett's best Grand Tour showing to date was his 10th place on 2016 Vuelta a España, while illness cut short a promising Tour de France previous year. "I knew I was taking the Maglia Rosa, which pleases me a lot".

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