14 May 2018

Bennett improves to 7th on Giro

7:24 am on 14 May 2018

The Nelson cyclist George Bennett has improved to seventh overall after nine stages of the Giro d'Italia.

Bennett was seventh on the 225km stage, 12 seconds behind winner Simon Yates of England.

George Bennett

George Bennett Photo: LottoNLJumbo

Yates leads overall by 32 seconds from Esteban Chaves of Colombia, while Bennett is 93 seconds off the pace.

Bennett felt he could challenge for the stage win again and despite the stage again finishing on a climb he says his legs felt good.

"Yeah I wanted to go for the win but the other guys were better."

"I feel quite good and I felt quite good all day and it was a hard last climb, we were climbing for what felt like two hours, there was cross-wind and there was altitude and a lot of things to deal with so you had to be smart."

Meanwhile Yates timed his final sprint to perfection to claim the ninth stage and extend his lead in the overall classification.

The 25-year-old rider stormed past his rivals near the summit of Gran Sasso d'Italia to finish ahead of Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and his team mate Chaves.

Yates now has a 32-second lead over Chaves in the overall standings, with defending champion Tom Dumoulin 38 seconds back.

It was another difficult day for Britain's four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who fell away from the leading group in the 225-kilometre ride.

Team Sky's Froome is now two minutes and 27 seconds behind Yates and down to 11th place overall.

Monday is the second rest day in the race, which ends in Rome on May 27th.