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Giro d'Italia 2018: Viviani takes his second consecutive stage with sprint into Eilat

Joe Robinson
6 May 2018

The Italian wins Stage 3 into Eilat as the race now heads back to Italy

It was deja-vu at the Giro d'Italia after Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) took Stage 3 into the Red Sea coastal town of Eilat outsprinting Sacha Modolo (EF-Drapac) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

After a dull stage through the desert, the final 5km saw the touch paper lit with a brutally fast pace set by Quick-Step Floors into the sprint finish. Viviani bidded his time in the final metres and managed to come past Bennett despite being guided towards the barriers.

Modolo also came past Bennett to take second on the stage. For a second consecutive stage young Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Triestina) sprinted well but was unable to produce expert timing.

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) finished safely in the bunch retaining the pink jersey as the Giro takes a rest day to travel to Italy before resuming in Sicily on Tuesday.

The tale of the day

Stage 3 was the final stage in Israel for the 2018 Giro d'Italia taking the riders on a long 226km course from Be'er Sheva to the shores of the red sea in the coastal town of Eilat.

The peloton seemed relaxed as it departed Be'er Sheva with a trio managing to escape pretty easily consisting of Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF) and Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec). 

The pace in the bunch was steady allowing the three ahead to gain a maximum of 6.50 which was then routinely reeled back in by the team of pink jersey wearer Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing. 

Boivin managed to snap up the points at the intermediate sprint while Frapporti took the only climb of the day allowing Barbin to remain in the blue climber's jersey.

Meanwhile back in the peloton with 100km remaining, BMC continued to trundle on slowly reducing the gap while not make too much effort to real in the three ahead.

The baron nature of the Negev Desert did not produce the most exciting racing. Who knew there wouldn't be any roadside spectators in the middle of a desert?

Sheer boredom saw me switch over to the snooker World Championships momentarily before flicking back over to the Giro as they rolled through 60km to go. Carlton Kirby was trying his best to brew excitement but I couldn't help but feel I was being punished by being made to watch the peloton roll through the empty desert.

We reached the final 30km and the pace began to rise. Third in General Classification Victor Campanaerts (Lotto-Soudal) began to lose contact with the peloton with others wile the break had its lead brought down to under one minute.

In the final 15km, the leading trio managed to hold a time gap of 48 seconds with the pace hitting 70km/h in the final 8km, maybe in a bid to get this boring day done and dusted.

The peloton raced into the final 5km with a sprint finish beckoning.

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