Bennett curses latest finish in Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia 2018 – stage six results and latest standings after Esteban Chaves leads Mitchelton Scott one-two on Mount Etna as Simon Yates takes lead

However now the Irishman has the monkey off his back, as he produced the flawless sprint to come around maglia ciclamino of Viviani and take his first Grand Tour victory.

Britain's Simon Yates has taken the general classification lead in the Giro d'Italia after he narrowly missed out on a stage victory around Mount Etna.

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.

"The first day in pink was good", Yates told Eurosport afterwards.

Bennett - following the attacks once more - crossed the line in the slipstream of Pinot, 26 seconds down on Yates, but ahead of a number of his rivals.

"I said to him (Chaves) as soon as I caught him that he could take the stage".

O'Connor finished 12th, 43 seconds behind Chaves and he is now Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's best-placed rider in 13th overall and second in the young rider competition. "I looked across the road and everyone was looking at each other".

"I had to freewheel for a moment because I knew it was just a bit too early".

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He now sits one minute and 11 seconds down on Yates, but has launched into the top 10 of the general classification, and based on this morning's showing, there should be a lot more to come over the next two weeks.

"It's very hard to get Viviani's wheel, they all want it and I had to fight for it".

Bennett is the first Irish victor of a Giro d'Italia stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

"I feel relieved", was an emotional Bennett's first reaction.

Mitchelton-Scott took first and second in the stage, sending Yates leapfrogging past Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin in the GC to take the pink jersey from BMC's Rohan Dennis.

Team Sky's Chris Froome, aiming to win a third successive grand tour, remains eighth, 70 seconds behind his race-leading compatriot.

The peloton being controlled by Quick-Step, Willier and Mitchelton Scott obviously with the former aiming to put Elia Viviani in prime position come the finish.

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