Bennett has finished comfortably in the peloton in 30th position on the stage for the sprinters, a stage won by his namesake - Ireland's Sam Bennett, who claimed his first victory of 2018, and his first stage win in a grand tour.
Sam Bennett took the spoils on the flat and fast stage seven of the Giro d'Italia in Praia a Mare today.
Looking ahead to tomorrow's summit finish, race leader Simon Yates said: "It was a good first day in the Maglia Rosa, relaxed at the start".
After a gruelling final climb along a 150m stretch of road, Aru crossed the line - under the shadow of the Etna Astrophysical Observatory - with the main peloton, just 26 seconds behind race victor Johan Eseban Chavez (Mitchelton Scott).
Chaves is third overall, 26 seconds behind the 25-year-old Yates. "I thought we had left it too late but the timing was right and I could use my power to get an advantage". "I still need to get some time on Tom Dumoulin and some other guys who are better time trialists than me". "I just had to get that wheel, and have a bit of patience as well". "Today the goal was to avoid losing seconds and I put in a good performance, so I'm satisfied".
Dutch rider Dumoulin is now second overall at 16sec behind Yates. Now that his first Grand Tour stage has come, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Bennett.
Yates has looked in excellent form throughout the first week of the Giro, posting a top-10 result in the opening-day prologue in Jerusalem and consistently finishing towards the front of stages.
Esteban Chaves is third, a further 10 seconds adrift, with Chris Froome a minute and 10 seconds behind Yates after a hard start to his bid for a third consecutive Grand Tour title.
"I just missed it sadly, but it's certainly within reach later in the week and really I'm so pleased to be up there with the best again on one of the most iconic climbs around and in the Giro d'Italia!"
In a final sprint, the Colombian rider of the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team defeated Britain's Simon Yates.