Viviani doubles up with Eilat victory
Elia Viviani made it two stage wins in a row as he timed his sprint finish to perfection in Eilat to cap an impressive start to the Giro d'Italia for Quick-Step Floors.
Viviani backed up the hard work done by his team-mates on the 229 kilometres from Be'er Sheva with a sensational sprint for the line, pipping Sacha Modolo and Sam Bennett to the victory.
It keeps the Italian in the points jersey heading back to Europe after an almost carbon copy result from Saturday in Tel Aviv, Viviani again just too strong in the closing metres.
His heroics came after Quick-Step held firm in the peloton through the undulating Negev desert in Israel, allowing the three-man breakaway to set the pace.
As the route left the desert and took in views of the Red Sea, it was Viviani in the mauve jersey who took centre stage.
Meanwhile, race leader Rohan Dennis managed to stay out of any trouble and will remain in pink in Catania on Tuesday.
.@eliaviviani's winning sprint in numbers. Top speed and max power-- Velon CC (@VelonCC) May 6, 2018
Last 250m | Time: 0'16'' | Speed: 60.5km/h | Top Speed: 64.9km/h | Power: 819W | Max Power: 1443W#FeelTheBurn at #Giro101 with VelonLive: https://t.co/aQCv1A8lrH@quickstepteampic.twitter.com/m70ZzBOFsP
BENNETT INCURS WRATH OF VIVIANI
Viviani may have been celebrating in Eilat but he remained angry with Bennett after a crude move across the road in the final sprint.
The Irishman changed his line in the closing stages to try to block Viviani's progress, but the Italian was able to get through.
"I won and so don't want to start a polemic. He moved big time. We made contact but I went through," he said.
"He went on the left and so I went on the right, but then he moved across the road."
1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 5:02:09
2. Sacha Modolo (Team EF Education First-Drapac)
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe)
4. Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia)
5. Danny van Poppel (Team LottoNL-Jumbo)
1. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) 9:05:30
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:01
3. Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:13
1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) - 130
2. Sacha Modelo (Team EF Education First-Drapac) - 55
3. Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia) - 53
King of the Mountains
1. Enrico Barbin (Bardiani - CSF) - 5
2. Marco Frapporti (Androni) - 3
3. Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy) - 3
Monday sees the first rest day of the race as the peloton head to Italy ahead of the fourth stage in Sicily on Tuesday.