Giro d'Italia: Stage 7 finish line quotes

Sam Bennett's reaction to his first Grand Tour stage victory

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) - stage winner

I feel relieved. I've been so close so many times in the Giro, to really get the timing right was key with so many fast sprinters here. It's not easy to beat [Elia] Viviani - he really knows what he's doing. My time came - at one point I thought it would never come. I want to thank the team and everybody who got me to this point.

I just had to get that wheel, and a bit of patience as well. I had to freewheel for a moment at one point because I knew it was a just bit too early. When the time was right I really took it up.

[Did you believe you could beat Elia Viviani?] Yes. The first few stages I got the timing a bit wrong. I had the power, I saw the files, so I knew what I was capable of, but it's one thing to have the belief and another to actually do it. I think the hardest thing today was to have patience. I think Quick-Step left it too late. I saw them looking back and checking me, maybe trying to get me to panic and go early again. I kept my cool and it paid off.

Viviani was really far back in the last few kilometres, and I thought for sure it would be one line, and even if we did get back I wondered if I would have the power to go. There were a few close calls but we made it. 

It was disappointing to lose Rudiger Selig but the guys did a fantastic job today and I could see that they had big belief in me. I want to thank them all for the support, and everyone that help get me to this point in my career. (Eurosport)

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) - overall leader

I have good legs and I want to try something. I still need to gain some time on the guys who are really fast in the time trial. It's 16 seconds to Tom [Dumoulin]. I’ve got some work to do.

First day in pink was good, a relaxed day as the right breakaway went away, so it was easy for the guys and we didn't have to do too much controlling. It was a little bit stressful in the final but it's always like that.

[Did you surprise yourself yesterday?] No. I've been working very hard toward this because this has been my goal for the year. I've arrived in super shape, so it wasn't a surprise to have good legs.

[Ambitions to Rome?] Yes. We started the Giro looking to win it. Nothing has changed. There are still difficult days to come, and the time trial where I could lose a massive chunk of time, we will see. It's a cliche but we will take it day by day.

[Esteban Chaves and you share the leadership role?] He is only a couple of seconds behind, so it is still close. I don't like to have the label of leader and captain. We came here as a team to win and we've done great up until now. We will continue as we are. (Eurosport)

Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) - points classification leader

We had to spend a lot of energy to come up - my guys needed to spend energy, I was on the wheel but Bennett was always sat on my wheel.

He decided a good tactic. I think [Sacha] Modolo went early, but I also went early. In a sprint like that one on the sea, the wind makes a difference. You also see [Niccolo] Bonifazio came third from a long way behind. I just needed to wait 10 metres more. When I know guys like Bennett are on my wheel, so they have a really fast 50 metres ... maybe also the last three stages are somewhat in the legs.

Every sprint is a long story. The guys did another amazing job - if you saw me at 5km to go you'd think I can't do the sprint. But finally we did a good sprint, we also did the intermediate and that takes some energy. We need to see day-by-day, sprint-by-sprint. We know we are fast, but today we were beaten by a faster one.

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