Yates times sprint to per­fec­tion to claim stage and ex­tend lead

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports - SHANE STOKES

Fol­low­ing his stage win on Fri­day, Sam Ben­nett bided his time in the moun­tains at the Giro d’Italia over the week­end, sav­ing en­er­gies for the up­com­ing sprint stages.

The sprinter knows after his stage 7 win that he is ca­pa­ble of another vic­tory, and so sav­ing en­ergy is the pri­or­ity on the days where he can­not chal­lenge.

Ni­co­las Roche (BMC Rac­ing Team), Ben­nett (Bora-hans­grohe) and Ryan Mullen (Trek-Se­gafredo) all fin­ished over 25 min­utes back on yes­ter­day’s stage to Gran Sasso d’Italia, which was won by race leader Si­mon Yates (Mitchel­ton-Scott) ahead of the French­man Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).

To­day is the race’s sec­ond rest day, after which there will be break­away chances for Roche and Mullen, as well as more sprint op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ben­nett.

At home, for­mer An Post Sean Kelly team rider Ro­nan McLaugh­lin won the Shay El­liott Me­mo­rial in Wick­low. He crossed the line just ahead of his Viner-Care­mark-Pac­timo team­mate Mat­teo Ci­gala, with Cathal Pur­cell (Pan­duit-Carrick Wheel­ers) and James Davenport (Strata 3-VeloRevo­lu­tion) third and fourth.

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