Yates wins stage to cement lead for Mitchelton-Scott

Simon Yates wearing the overall leader's pink jersey rides in the peloton during the seventh stage of the 101st Giro d'Italia

"I realise how big it is to win my first stage with the pink jersey", said Yates, who became the first Briton since Mark Cavendish in 2013 to win a stage and only the second after Robert Millar in 1987 on the top of a mountain.

BC-CYC-Giro d'Italia, 149 Yates wins 9th stage to cement Giro lead, Froome loses timeEds: APNewsNow.

Simon Yates claimed his first stage win in this year's Giro d'Italia to extend his lead in the overall classification to 32 seconds.

Simon Yates of the Mitchelton-Scott team celebrates on the podium after retaining the overall leader's pink jersey on stage seven of the Giro D'Italia on Sunday.

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While Bennett was slightly disappointed with his efforts, he won't be as frustrated as Tour de France victor Chris Froome who fell out of the 10 after losing 67 seconds on the stage. But the Team Sky cyclist struggled at the end of the 225-kilometre route from Pesco Sannita up to Gran Sasso d'Italia and is now 2:27 behind his countryman. "It's really nice. Since the beginning of the day we believed in the possibility of winning the stage as well as defending the Maglia Rosa".

Defending champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands remains second overall 16sec behind Yates with Colombian Esteban Chaves third 26sec off the pace.

Dumoulin is a further six seconds behind. "On the other hand, some guys lost time - Chris Froome, maybe it was from the crashes, maybe he's got no form, I don't know". "However, it's still a good day for us, I think".

After Sunday's exertions, Monday will see the riders enjoy a well-earned rest day, before Tuesday's to Gualdo Tadino which gives the riders little chance to re-find their racing legs with a 15km straight from the gun.

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