Yates moves into overall lead of Giro, Chaves wins stage 6

Yates moves into overall lead of Giro, Chaves wins stage 6

Sam Bennett took the spoils on the flat and fast stage seven of the Giro d'Italia in Praia a Mare today.

Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France, leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin by 16 seconds.

In the General standings substantial rearrangements did not happen - the second day in a row the pink Jersey was retained by the representative of "Mitchelton-Scott" Simon Yates.

The 27-year-old has been a highly touted prospect in Irish circles having claimed a European Junior Points Race Championship in 2008 and represented the Irish national team during the 2009 Tour of Ireland.

With two mountain stages to come at the weekend, Yates's domestiques were given a relatively easy day as the sprinters' teams took responsibility for controlling the gap to the break as Quick-Step Floors and Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia dominated the front of the bunch.

"I'm really happy. We tried so hard in other sprints but never got the timing right".

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Dutch rider Dumoulin is now second overall at 16sec behind Yates. I was hoping not today and that I would get a little bit more confidence from the race, but there is still time.

"I feel as if I m getting better and better each day after Israel now, with the bigger picture in mind of getting to the third week as strong as possible and obviously this is the first main objective of the season for me and things are still on track".

Yates, 25, now leads a Grand Tour for the first time.

The only force he couldn't match was the superb showing from the Mitchelton-Scott team, who achieved a rare 1-2 finish atop the mountainous finish.

The overall favourites will face a far tougher assignment on Saturday as the race heads back into the mountains for the 209km eighth stage, with the final climb at Montevergine di Mercogliano 17km long with an average gradient of five percent.

Chris Froome now trails Yates by 70 seconds on a day when he again looked below his best, although the four-time Tour de France victor did move up 11 places to eighth overall.

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