Rohan Dennis takes the lead as Elia Viviani wins stage two

'Rohan was within two seconds of taking the jersey'

Dumoulin remains in second, one second behind Dennis with Portugal's Jose Goncalves up to third at 13sec after Belgian Victor Campenaerts lost time at the finish.

At the conclusion of Sunday's stage, almost 1,000 people and three cargo planes of equipment will transfer to Sicily for a rest day before continuing through Italy and ending in Rome on May 27. Since 2006, the Giro has commenced alternate years with a "Big-Start" competition outside of Italy.

Dennis has now worn the leader's jersey at all three Grand Tours, following opening stage success at the Tour de France in 2015 and last year's Vuelta a Espana. "A lot of sprinters turn up here and then go home but this race is very important for me as a rider, and in particular as an Italian rider". The TV images of magnificent Israel were breathtaking.

In Friday's first stage, many thousands of Israelis lined the ancient streets of Jerusalem as the riders set off individually near the iconic Jaffa Gate, passing landmarks including the Knesset and Supreme Court. Israel's Kristian Sbaragli grabbed 12th place, with Guy Sagiv finishing 35th and Guy Niv finishing 122nd, prior to Sunday's stage through Israel's expansive Negev desert. "But the final straight was good for me". "It was an experience I've never had before".

Before the start of this season, I hadn't anticipated that I might be riding this Giro d'Italia.

Niv added, "Any time I had pain or fatigue in my legs, I just looked to the sides and felt the crowd pushing for me and cheering for me and suddenly I could push harder".

Anti-North Korean activists scuffle with South Korean police near border
In contrast, I predict, the North will suggest a slower approach and extend the discussion to American weapons. Nonetheless, while Trump is certainly the most unpredictable president ever, it seems unlikely he will cancel.

Finishing in the lead group was a trickier task on stage three, with several riders - including Kiwi rider Tom Scully - losing contact in the crosswinds near the end of the stage as the peloton drifted into one long line.

The Giro d'Italia is barely three days old, and there are almost three weeks of racing still to come.

Dumoulin said he heard about Froome's crash before the race and was aware of the tricky route that snaked through Jerusalem. "This is an exciting city with a special culture". Israel's selection as a hosting country was viewed as a historic victory and marks the first time this leg of the race has been held outside of Europe.

Barbin attacked at the outset of the second-longest stage of the race, joining forces with Canada's Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy) and compatriot Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec) to build up maximum lead of seven-and-a-half minutes over the sluggish pack. On the finish of the stage will be a new duel of the sprinters.

On Wednesday, after a 65km training ride in the morning, we had an afternoon meeting cancelled at the last moment so my team-mates and I took a taxi into the old town for a wander around and, apart from the beauty of the area, the first thing we noticed was the amount of armed police everywhere.

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