Elia Viviani defeats Sam Bennett in sprint to end Giro d'Italia's 13th stage
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 18/05/18 11:18pm
Elia Viviani bounced back from a day to forget on Thursday to win stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia in a bunch sprint in Nervesa della Battaglia.
Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) almost lost his points jersey to Ireland's Sam Bennett when his Bora-Hansgrohe rival claimed a second win in Imola, but he was well positioned in Friday's finish and scored with plenty in hand.
It was his third stage win of the race after he took victory in both of the sprint stages that took place in Israel.
The peloton had reeled in the day's break with just under 7km remaining, and the sprint trains all lined up at the front with not many chances of bunch finishes remaining.
There was brief concern for the sprinters when Willier-Triestina's Marco Coledan tried to break for the line, taking a healthy advantage before tying up.
But, with Bennett starting his sprint from too far back, it was Viviani's impressive acceleration that took him past Sacha Modolo to the front, and he had a couple of bike lengths in hand by the line.
Bennett's flying finish took him into second place ahead of Danny van Poppel and a fading Modolo.
The almost pan-flat stage had no effect at all on the overall standings, with Simon Yates retaining his 47-second lead over Tom Dumoulin.
But big changes are to be expected on Saturday when the remaining riders face one of the toughest stages of the three-week race, which concludes with the ultra-steep 10km climb of the fearsome Monte Zoncolan.