Sam Bennett can push for first Grand Tour stage win
Defending champion Tom Dumoulin stakes early Giro d'Italia claim
Eurosport 2, 11.30am Saturday
Tom Dumoulin is the new 6-4 favourite to win the Giro d’Italia after he served notice that he will not relinquish his crown easily with a superb victory in the opening time-trial in Jerusalem.
The Dutchman’s two-second triumph over pre-stage favourite Rohan Dennis saw him gain valuable time on his pink-jersey rivals, including Chris Froome, who ended the stage 37 seconds down on Dumoulin.
Froome was one of a number of riders who crashed during practice for the 9.7km stage, landing heavily on his right hip. However, the Briton, who wore bandages under his jersey during his timed run, has dismissed his injuries as “superficial”.
The race continues its three-day stay in Israel with a 167km flat stage from Haifa to Tel Aviv which is sure to end in a bunch sprint.
Italian Elia Viviani is the odds-on stage favourite but Ireland’s Sam Bennett is enjoying a profitable season and could go close to a first Grand Tour stage win.
1pt 11-4 bet365
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