Viviani wins Giro stage two as Dennis sprints to overall lead

Viviani wins Giro stage two as Dennis sprints to overall lead

The Giro d'Italia "Big Start" in Israel reached its climax in Israel on Sunday, as 175 riders from 22 teams raced toward the finish line in the southernmost city of Eilat.

Viviani was again the strongest among the sprinters, but this time the victory was given to the Italian challenge.

"With Quick-Step, I have the best team for the sprints and whatever I can win, I bring it home, regardless of who my rivals are".

(AFP) - Australia's Rohan Dennis took the race leader's pink jersey off reigning champion Tom Dumoulin as Italy's Elia Viviani won the Giro d'Italia second stage in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

The repeat victory helped solidify his reputation as one of the world's top sprinters.

The team delivered me exactly where I needed to be for the sprint and all I had to do was go as hard as I could and there was no way I couldn't win it.

With the opening time trial and two sprint stages complete, the Giro will head to hillier territory as the riders travel to Italy, where the contenders will seperate themselves from the pack. In the top 3 progressed racer "Katyusha" Jose Goncalves. He is now 19th, 38 seconds behind the leader.

Race favourite Chris Froome and previous year s victor Tom Dumoulin both enjoyed an uneventful day riding safely in the peloton to finish in the same time as the victor.

The riders will then take a breathe for a day of rest before travelling to Southern Italy to continue the three week race, across 21 stages.

The 2018 Giro d'Italia concludes on Sunday, May 27, in Rome after three weeks of racing. They encountered Israeli flag-waving fans and spectators on horseback wearing Giro pink shirts along the way, and even passed a group of goat herders. "It is not a given when you go to a new country that maybe doesn't have a long tradition that you are welcomed with such a crowd", he said.

"I've been nicely surprised with Israel: when we race outside of Europe, Australia or the United States, it's pretty quiet on the roads". Reports indicate that Israel was given the unique honor of hosting the event due to the earnest advocacy of Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli cycling enthusiast who hoped both to promote cycling in Israel as well as to dispel the myth that Israel is an ugly or war-torn place and to showcase it in honor of its 70th anniversary of independence. "The win, everyone was expecting (it) but doing it is never easy", Viviani said, "I was really nervous this morning, I tried to overcome a bit this emotion but it's not easy".

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