Elia Viviani wins Stage 2 as Rohan Dennis takes pink

Elia Viviani wins Stage 2 as Rohan Dennis takes pink

Giro d'Italia 2018 standings: Rohan Dennis takes the lead as Elia Viviani wins stage two

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Italy's Elia Viviani sprinted to victory for a second successive day at the Giro d'Italia as the Big Start in Israel concluded.

Viviani, who won the second stage after a similar comeback on Saturday, finished ahead of Sacha Modolo (Cannondale-Drapac) and Bennett had to settle for third.

Rohan Dennis retains the overall leader's pink jersey while Barbin retains the blue jersey after he was second-fastest to reach the summit of this stage's Cat 4 climb. The general classification was unlikely to change on the predominantly flat route however, with the GC contenders eyeing the upcoming stage on return to Italy.

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.

Many in the country associated with organizing the Big Start Israel gave a sigh of relief as the riders crossed the finish line on Sunday, capping off the most complicated, expensive, and logistically challenging sporting event Israel has ever hosted, according to Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev. "It was chaotic because of all those corners and roundabouts, but we can be proud of ourselves", Viviani said.

Belgium's Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo), who was tied with Dennis on Friday's time trial, was one of many riders to be caught out in the finale and dropped out of the top 10 after conceding 31 seconds.

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Dennis has now worn the leader's jersey at all three Grand Tours, following opening stage success at the Tour de France in 2015 and last year's Vuelta a Espana.

I felt like throwing up after about 500m and eventually lost a minute and 14 seconds to Dumoulin to finish 116th.

In a chaotic conclusion to the 167km stage in Israel, Italy's Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) darted onto the wheel of compatriot Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Triestina) before rounding the pint-sized sprinter to win by a bike length.

Race favourite Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton after a bunch sprint in the Mediterranean coastal resort of Tel Aviv.

The Giro has been warmly embraced in Israel.

Sheer boredom saw me switch over to the snooker World Championships momentarily before flicking back over to the Giro as they rolled through 60km to go. From Cervinia, the Giro will move on May 27th to Rome for the 21 and last stage. "This was a Giro d'Israel - a three-day tour around our special country".

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