Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Giro d'Italia finishes Israel race in Eilat

Giro d'Italia finishes Israel race in Eilat

BC-CYC-Giro d'Italia, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 586Viviani wins 3rd stage as Giro bids farewell to IsraelAP Photo ASC101, ASC103, ASC108, ASC107, ASC110Eds: Adds quotes, background, minor edits.

Viviani, who also won the stage from Haifa to Tel Aviv on Saturday, finished the race in 5 hours, 2 minutes, and 9 seconds.

The pace in the bunch was steady allowing the three ahead to gain a maximum of 6.50 which was then routinely reeled back in by the team of pink jersey wearer Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing.

It was deja-vu at the Giro d'Italia after Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) took Stage 3 into the Red Sea coastal town of Eilat outsprinting Sacha Modolo (EF-Drapac) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

When I found out a few days ago that I was off third last today, in between Chris Froome and former world time trial champion Tony Martin, my cousin Eric reassured me that at least if I wasn't going well the cameras would probably be focused on the other two anyway.

While Dennis perhaps benefited from a little good will on the part of Viviani in the intermediate sprint, the Italian gave no favours in the finale - despite being made to sweat on what was ultimately a comfortable win.

"This morning in the first two hours I felt really bad and my energy was low despite my win yesterday", Viviani said. "I've got the best lead-out team for the sprints so I don't really care who I am up against".

For youngster Mareczko, it was yet another second place: the 24-year-old with the distinctive forward-tucked sprinting style finished runner-up twice in last year's Giro.

After Monday's rest day as the race packs up and travels from Israel back to Europe, the 101st edition of the Giro continues on Tuesday with the hilly 198km stage from Catania to Caltagirone in Sicily.

Dennis now leads by one second from Dumoulin with Belgian Victor Campenaerts third at 3sec.

The Giro d'Italia's Israeli excursion is over, and now the excitement begins. The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.

Dennis said the ride through the desert was not as hot as originally feared and that strong winds were the main obstacle as they went through the barren moonscape after passing by its famous craters.

"I think the third week and even the second week is still a big unknown for me".

Guillaume Boivin, riding for the Israel Cycling Academy, used his knowledge of the hard conditions to establish an early breakaway alongside Marco Frapporti and Enrico Barbin.

Riders will now transfer to Italy tomorrow, following the controversial Big Start in Israel.

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