Viviani takes stage 2, Dennis in pink

Viviani wins Stage 2 in Tel Aviv as Dennis takes pink

Viviani wins Stage 2 in Tel Aviv as Dennis takes pink

Viviani edged Italian countryman Sacha Modolo at the finish line and pumped his fist in triumph in a near repeat of his sprint victory on Saturday in Tel Aviv.

He remains one second clear of Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin and 13 clear of José Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin) on the general classification.

Italy's Elia Viviani, 29, won the second stage of the race in less than four hours bursting through from well behind to emerge from the back wheel of Irishman Sam Bennett and surge to victory.

Dennis, 27, had edged out Viviani at an intermediate sprint 91km into the stage to claim the three bonus seconds he needed to take the race lead.

With the opening time trial and two sprint stages complete, the Giro will head to hillier territory as the riders travel to Italy, where the contenders will seperate themselves from the pack.

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"With Quick-Step, I have the best team for the sprints and whatever I can win, I bring it home, regardless of who my rivals are".

Ryan Mullen and Nicolas Roche both finished in the peloton in the same time as the stage victor.

On Sunday evening, the riders and support teams will fly to Sicily for a rest day on Monday and resume the tour on May 8.

Adams hoped the Giro's start in Israel will help grow the sport of cycling locally as well as show Israel to millions of people around the world. While there were fewer spectators Sunday due to the sparsely populated southern Negev Desert than the two previous stages, the riders were still cheered on by locals banging drums and strumming guitars. "It's a great moment for Israel and Israeli sports", Netanyahu stated.

"Today, the race was maybe what we imagined in the middle of the desert, with around 2000 metres of ups and downs", Viviani said.

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"I've been nicely surprised with Israel: when we race outside of Europe, Australia or the United States, it's pretty quiet on the roads".

Having led much of Saturday's stage, Israel Cycling Academy's Guillaume Boivin once again hit the front of the race early on, narrowly missing out on the King of the Mountains blue jersey.

Although the 27-year-old Dumoulin is likely to hold onto the lead during the early stages in Israel, he said it would be hard to maintain his advantage for the entire race.

Riders will now transfer to Italy tomorrow, following the controversial Big Start in Israel. "This was a Giro d'Israel - a three-day tour around our special country".

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