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17 May 2018

Bennett makes it two

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) made the sprint on the Imola car racing circuit an epic ride under the rain as he anticipated the action of his rivals 400 metres before the line, soon after catching late breakaway riders Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) and Carlos Betancur (Movistar Team). The Irishman took his second victory after his victory in stage 7 to Praia a Mare, while hot favourite Elia Viviani (Quick Step Floors) was off the back following a strong battle in the crosswinds. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retained the Maglia Rosa after controlling the attacks of top 10 GC contenders like Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) and former race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team).


  • Second stage win at the Giro for Sam Bennett – just as many as his compatriot, Stephen Roche, who won two time trials in 1987. The two other Irish stage victories were Seamus Elliott in 1960 and Martin Earley in 1986.
  • The Imola circuit brings luck to Irish sportsmen: last Sunday, northern Irishman Jonathan Rea equalled the lifetime record of victories (59) in the Superbike world championship series that belonged to Carl Fogarty, an Englishman with the same name as Sam Bennett’s fiancé, Tara Fogarty, who was also present at Imola today.
  • The name of Van Poppel is back in the top 3 of a Giro d’Italia stage with Danny second in Imola. The last time was when his father, Jean-Paul, finished third on stage 11 to Lodi. That stage was won by Adriano Baffi, who’s now the sport director of Trek-Segafredo. Jean-Paul van Poppel won four stages at the Giro d’Italia in total.


1 – Sam Bennett (Bora – Hansgrohe) – 214km in 4h49’34”, average speed 44.342km/h
2 – Danny Van Poppel (Team Lotto NL – Jumbo) st
3 – Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain – Merida) st

1 – Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott)
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 47″
3 – Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) at 1’04”

Complete Rankings


  • Maglia Rosa(pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott)
  • Maglia Ciclamino(cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo – Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
  • Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott), worn by Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton – Scott)
  • Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team)

The stage winner, Sam Bennett, said: “I moved up in the hill because I wanted to be sure that I was at the front for the descent in case of crashes. I didn’t want to be far back and risk slipping. The guys worked really hard all day from the beginning but the number one priority was the sprint. I told them I’d do it alone if necessary but it had to be a sprint. I went early because a gap [to Matej Mohoric and Carlos Betancur] had to be closed. I didn’t know the finish was so far away. Luckily I had better legs than the others. At the moment, I’m just looking for stage wins. If I use energy for the intermediate sprints and I lose the final sprint, I won’t forgive myself, but later in the Giro, if the opportunity is there, I’ll answer the call of the Maglia Ciclamino.”

The Maglia Rosa, Simon Yates, said: “When a split in the bunch occurred, I had my team close to the front just to be careful. I heard through the radio there was a split but I didn’t know how many guys were there and how big the gap was. Once I heard [Domenico] Pozzovivo was caught behind, he was already back with the front group. Nobody likes to race in the rain but I have confidence in my equipment, especially in my tyres. It was a more difficult circuit at the end than we expected.”