Dennis keeps pink as Viviani claims second stage win

'Rohan was within two seconds of taking the jersey'

'Rohan was within two seconds of taking the jersey'

The third stage also looked likely to culminate in a sprint, and stage two's victory Elia Viviani (Quick-Step) would fancy his chances of taking a second stage win of the race and a third career victory at the Giro d'Italia.

BC-CYC-Giro d'Italia, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 586Viviani wins 3rd stage as Giro bids farewell to IsraelAP Photo ASC101, ASC103, ASC108, ASC107, ASC110Eds: Adds quotes, background, minor edits.

Dennis has now worn the leader's jersey at all three Grand Tours, following opening stage success at the Tour de France in 2015 and last year's Vuelta a Espana.

"And as I understood that you really have to make the most of your time off, it was really important for me having Elena, who's a cyclist and understands these situations".

Mareczko held off Ireland's Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) while Italians Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain Merida) and Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac) completed the top five.

Saturday's second stage and Sunday's third were both long, hot slogs through the desert that ended in bunch sprints, and Froome was able to stay in the wheels and out of trouble. "But the final straight was good for me". "The win, everyone was expecting (it) but doing it is never easy", Viviani said, "I was really nervous this morning, I tried to overcome a bit this emotion but it's not easy".

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) is in the overall lead of the Giro D'Italia with the fastest cumulative time, wearing the coveted pink jersey. I've got a lot to learn still.

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Dennis now leads by one second from Dumoulin with Belgian Victor Campenaerts third at 3sec.

There followed two sprint stages through Israel, finishing in Tel Aviv and then Eilat before the whole shebang returned to its homeland for Monday's rest day ahead of Tuesday's fourth stage in Sicily.

The Giro d'Italia's Israeli excursion is over, and now the excitement begins. The Giro will end in Rome on May 27. They encountered Israeli flag-waving fans and spectators on horseback wearing Giro pink shirts along the way, and even passed a group of goat herders.

"We knew that the second sprint was the one with bonus time and we thought that if it was within grasp, and the breakaway wasn't too far away, we would try".

Another Italian, Enrico Barbin of Bardiani-CSF, secured the first blue king of the mountains jersey of the 101st edition of the race after picking his way through the crowds to crest the summit of the only categorised climb of the day in pole position.

Riders will now transfer to Italy tomorrow, following the controversial Big Start in Israel.

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