Froome stays safe in sprint finale

11 May 2018

Froome stays safe in sprint finale

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Chris Froome retained his overall position at the Giro d’Italia after safely negotiating a technical finish to stage seven as Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) came out on top in a bunch sprint.

Excellent lead out work from Salvatore Puccio on a tricky run in to Praia a Mare ensured Froome was well-positioned ahead of the final sprint and reduced the risk to the Team Sky leader as the roads twisted and turned before the final finishing straight.

The sprint had looked inevitable after a long-ranging breakaway was caught with 15 kilometres to go on a stage which rarely matched the intensity of the previous day's Etna trial.

Indeed, the pace was much slower at the start of the stage and a three-man break of Davide Ballerini (Androni), Maxim Belkov (Katusha Alpecin) and Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo) amassed a strong lead for much of the stage. 

However, with the next two stages unlikely to yield victories for the sprinters, their teams combined to bring the escapees back to setup a finish which saw Bennett prevail over Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).  
Sport Director Matteo Tosatto told TeamSky.com that the stage was ideally placed in the race following Etna's exertions and the prospect of another gruelling finish on stage eight, saying: "The stage was very clear, the roads were good and it was a good day.

"Today’s stage was a good day in terms of recovery, which is important as there is an important summit finish tomorrow.

"The last 10km were more stressful and the pace picked up, but overall a good day."
The pace picked up in the final kilometres, with Vasil Kiryienka leading the charge for Team Sky

The pace picked up in the final kilometres, with Vasil Kiryienka leading the charge for Team Sky

Stage seven result:
 
1. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:45:27
2. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) s.t.
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain Merida) s.t.
4. Sacha Modolo (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) s.t.
5. Danny van Poppel (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t.
25. Chris Froome (Team Sky) s.t.
 
Overall standings:
 
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 26:31:30
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +16”
3. Estaben Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +26”
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +43”
5. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +45”
8. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +1’10”
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