Superb Yates takes overall lead in Giro d'Italia

Esteban ChavesSportsColombia’s Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d’Italia’s Mount Etna stage by Adriaan Alsema

But as Dennis faltered, the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team seized the Giro initiative.

Yates started the day in third place, 17 seconds behind race leader Rohan Dennis, before the gruelling 169km stage to a finish on the Sicilian volcano. Interestingly, Roche took the Maglia Rosa for good in 1987 at Sappada where the Giro returns this year for the first time, on May 20, for the 15th stage.

BRITAIN'S Simon Yates followed in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and David Millar by taking the overall lead in the Giro d'Italia after finishing second on stage six.

"It was just me and (Italian rider Domenico) Pozzovivo attacking and we were stronger than them (Chaves and Yates).well I don't know if we were, maybe they were smarter but they deserved to win", said Bennett. "At one point I thought we'd left it too late but the timing was right and I could use my power to get an advantage".

With two mountain stages to come at the weekend, Yates's domestiques were given a relatively easy day as the sprinters' teams took responsibility for controlling the gap to the break as Quick-Step Floors and Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia dominated the front of the bunch.

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With AP Photos.Sam Bennett has timed his sprint to perfection to win the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia.

This came after two thirds in the first week of this year's edition and a string of seconds and thirds in last year's race.

Team Sky's Chris Froome continued to be off the pace and is sitting in eighth place, 1m 10s behind Yates. "I'm just so much more relaxed".

"Nothing changes from today. Obviously, I don't have the pink jersey but that's not an issue for me", he said.

First, the riders will take on the summit finish of the Montevergine di Mercogliano - a 17.1 kilometre climb which is less hard than stage six's Etna, but is likely to still only leave the best climbers standing at the end, due to the length of the climb.

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