"Beersheba - Eilat": Elia Viviani won the second stage in a row

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"I'm not sure there's a rule with the amount of time we're allowed to fly otherwise one day we may start in Australia!" quipped the Aussie.

After the race, Dennis told the BBC: "The team rode for me in the 30km before the intermediate sprint and delivered me perfectly".

"I was a little bit nervous at probably 5km to go that I wouldn t hold the jersey".

The three Grand Tours now have a tradition of starting outside their home country every second year. "But the time trial in Jerusalem was simply magical, as the helicopter footage of this historic and splendid city, lined with cheering fans, took it up to another level", said honorary president of "Big Start" Israel Sylvan Adams.

Our hotel is really nice and the local food on display at the buffet looks lovely.

But the experienced Italian kept his cool and leant his shoulder into Bennett, who veered back to the left, leaving a channel for Viviani to burst through and win. I was already on his side when he made a clear move to the barriers, he was pushing me towards the roadside but I made him understand that I was already there.

"And then we go straight into some tough stages".

The return to Sicily on Monday will take only two and a half hours.

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As I grabbed an omelette and some fruit, I had a quick chat with Irish national champion Ryan Mullen, who is riding his first Grand Tour here.

"For me, Israel has already won this race, as it afforded hundreds of millions of TV spectators to see our handsome country and feel the warmth of our people", he told The Associated Press.

Giro organisers have previously mooted the possibility of starting the race in Tokyo or Washington, but Dennis said there must be a limit in terms of how far riders are expected to travel from one day to the next.

Rohan Dennis (pink) stayed inside the BMC bubble to finish Stage 3 safely.

Rohan's fastest time meant he had a nerve-wracking few hours in the "hot seat" of race leader.

The 120 million shekel (34 million dollars, 27 million euros) investment in the Israeli leg attracted thousands of tourists as spectators watched to see whether four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, victor of three Grand Tour titles in a row.

To be honest, I was grateful for that as I didn't have a great day. "I've got the best lead-out team for the sprints, so I don't really care who I am up against".

I don't know if it was the shock of racing again after five weeks but whatever the reason as Ed Sheeran might say, my legs didn't work like they used to before. Jose Goncalves (Portugal, Katusha-Alpecin) Is 0,134.

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