Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Elia Viviani completes Israeli stage double

Elia Viviani completes Israeli stage double

After a boring stage through the desert, the final 5km saw the touch paper lit with a brutally fast pace set by Quick-Step Floors into the sprint finish.

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) is in the overall lead of the Giro D'Italia with the fastest cumulative time, wearing the coveted pink jersey.

Stages in Israel have become lucky for the Italian, he won stage Giro only once in 2015.

"The pressure was off after yesterday's win", Viviani said.

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.

But having been left out of the Sky team to ride the Giro past year, Viviani wasn't going to let lightning strike twice.

"But I felt better later on".

Ryan Mullen and Nicolas Roche both finished in the peloton in the same time as the stage victor.

Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands won the first stage of the 101st Giro with a 9.8 km individual time trial of 12:02 minutes.

Tomorrow sees the first rest day of the race to allow the peloton and its accompanying circus to head back to Italy, where racing resumes on Sicily on Tuesday with a 198-kilometre stage from Catania to Caltagirone.

The Giro has been warmly embraced in Israel. Some riders lost contact as it was not an easy stage.

"I thought we reached the pinnacle Thursday with the team presentations and gala opening party". "Israelis are the greatest fans in the world".

"When we've been to other races outside of Europe it can be quite quiet on the side of the roads", said the Australian.

Unsurprisingly, the home team Israel Cycling Academy were involved, with Canada's Guillaume Boivin in the move. 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. Since 2006, the Giro has commenced alternate years with a "Big-Start" competition outside of Italy. "This was a Giro d'Israel - a three-day tour around our special country".

After the race's conclusion in Eilat, nearly 1,000 people and three cargo planes full of bikes and gear will fly out of tiny Uvda airport in the space of an hour to reach the next stage of the race in Italy.

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