Sam Bennett wins stage seven of the Giro d'Italia

Esteban ChavesSportsColombia’s Esteban Chaves victorious in Giro d’Italia’s Mount Etna stage by Adriaan Alsema

Simon Yates soared up Mount Etna to take over as the new Giro d'Italia leader and his team-mate Esteban Chaves is up to third after winning a gruelling stage six.

Dennis (BMC Racing) is 53 seconds behind Yates, who won the young rider classification at last year's Tour de France and becomes the fourth Briton to wear the pink jersey after Mark Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins and David Millar.

FDJ s Thibaut Pinot finished third, 26 seconds behind the leading pair, after a 164km ride between Caltanissetta and the summit finish at Etna, with Froome finishing in the same time as the Frenchman.

The 25-year-old broke away from the overall contenders with less than 2km to race, bridging across to Chaves - the last survivor of the breakaway - and the pair crossed the line together, with Yates gifting the Colombian the stage win.

It was a perfectly constructed race by Mitchelton-Scott - with Kiwi Sam Bewley helping out deep into the stage - as they managed to sneak the unsafe Chaves into an incredible 28 man breakaway to begin the stage.

"It was a really hard stage here at the end. I'm just so much more relaxed".

"I had to freewheel for a moment because I knew it was just a bit too early".

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"The start was insane". In the final I rode with Yates, I was first and he claimed the Maglia Rosa.

Four-time Tour de France victor Froome finished tenth among the first chasing group and alongside defending champion Tom Dumoulin.

Froome - bidding for a third consecutive Grand Tour win - dropped 15 seconds and is now 1min 10sec behind Yates. Obviously, I really want to win again, but it's going to be more relaxing because today I felt a lot of pressure.

"I feel relieved", was an emotional Bennett's first reaction.

"So we decided we'd sit back and let it work itself out, and unfortunately 28 guys went up the road", Dennis said.

"It was a nice day until the finale and sprint", Yates said.

Friday's Stage 7 is a 159km route from Pizzo to Praia a Mare, following along Italy's eastern coast travelling north.

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