Elia Viviani took another sprint victory in stage three of the Giro d'Italia as BMC's Rohan Dennis kept hold of the race leader's pink jersey.
Viviani won a feisty sprint finish in Eilat as the Quick-Step Floors rider was forced to out-muscle Ireland's Sam Bennett with the Bora-Hansgrohe racer having to settle for third place behind Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac).
Dennis maintained his overall lead after finishing safely in the peloton at the end of the gruelling 229km stage from Be'er Sheva, ahead of Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin.
Guillaume Boivin, riding for the Israel Cycling Academy, used his knowledge of the difficult conditions to establish an early breakaway alongside Marco Frapporti and Enrico Barbin.
Boivin proceeded to wrap up the sprint points but the heat and wind meant there was little appetite to attack from the peloton and it quickly became obvious the stage would come down to a sprint finish.
Dennis' ability to stay out of danger means he will have the advantage when the race resumes after a rest day in Catania, Sicily on Tuesday.