Thursday, 16 August, 2018

George Bennett remains in sixth after latest stage of Giro d'Italia

Simon Yates led the Giro entering Tuesday's stage 10 Simon Yates led the Giro entering Tuesday's stage 10
Cecil Davis | 17 May, 2018, 04:27

Top Kiwi cyclist George Bennett has been frustrated by a bike issue which halted his charge during stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia.

Stage 12 is a 214km ride to Imola.

Froome came into the season with a double objective of winning the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, something that has not been done since 1998.

He is 2m 9s behind now but doing better than some of the bigger names.

Of greater concern to Yates is the form of Dumoulin who, although beaten yesterday, proved the only rider capable of staying relatively close to the 25-year-old, chasing him doggedly all the way to the line and finishing just two seconds behind. Mohoric finished 34 seconds ahead of the main bunch, which led by Irish sprinter Sam Bennett of Bora-Hansgrohe.

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Wet roads in the finale made for treacherous conditions, causing punctures for Dumoulin and Richard Carapaz, who is fifth overall and leads the young rider classification. He is 1m 4s ahead of Thibaut Pinot in third. I first thought Esteban Chaves would be able to come back but it was a really insane stage and I'm very disappointed for him as I know he's worked very hard for this. That was a really tough finish. I already have a good gap to Froome.

Chris Froome remains optimistic in his Giro d'Italia quest despite losing more time again on an uphill finish in central Italy.

Team Sky rider Froome has struggled at key moments since the start of the race - falling twice - and is now over three minutes off the lead. "I have a lot of pain down my right side, which in this game if you are not at your absolute best, you can only hide for so long, which we've seen", Froome continued.

"I'm going to keep fighting, it's good to get this racing in the legs". "I certainly haven't given up hope". "I'm going to keep plugging away, I'm motivated, the team's motivated and we're going to do as much as we can". The latter two were caught with 17km to go, while Sanchez and De Marchi lasted until five km from the end. With Bennett trying to position himself at the front, the attacks flew, with classics specialist Zdenek Stybar linking with Tim Wellens to launch the first escape plan.

Yates attacked with about 1.5 kilometers remaining of the 156-kilometer leg from Assisi to Osimo and held off Dumoulin on the steep climb to the finish to claim his second victory of the race.