Bennett curses latest finish in Giro d'Italia

Colombia's Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d'Italia's Mount Etna stage

Britain's Simon Yates held on to the overall lead by finishing in the group behind Bennett.

Bennett was the last to launch his sprint but the Irish rider managed to edge out Elia Viviani - who won two of the opening three stages - and claim his first win in a Grand Tour. The stage was a 159-km run from Pizzo Calabro near Vibo Valentia to Praia a Mare near Cosenza.

"Being the first Irish stage victor since Stephen Roche in 1987 shows how hard it is to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia".

"They were really far back and I thought there was no way we'd come back because there was the chicane still to come and I thought for sure it would be one line so even if we did get back, would I still have the power still to go?"

The Kiwi rider now holds ninth position on the overall Giro d'Italia leaderboard, one minute and 11 seconds behind leader, Simon Yates of England.

Yates took the leader's jersey from Rohan Dennis on Thursday's stage six, the first time the Australian had surrendered it in this year's Giro.

New Zealand cyclist George Bennett has maintained his top 10 placing at the Giro d'Italia after stage seven on Saturday morning (NZ time).

"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.

The general classification remained unchanged as the main contenders took a step back from the spotlight on a day for the sprinters, with Mitchelton-Scott's Yates still leading by 16 seconds from defending champion Tom Dumoulin.

Four-time Tour de France victor Froome was in eighth place, 1 minute, 10 seconds behind. A bit stressful at the final, as always, but okay.

Yates added: "I felt really good, I looked across the road and everyone was looking at each other".

Stage eight tomorrow will consist of a 209km mountain stage from Praia a Mare to Montevergine.

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