Yates maintains Giro lead as Froome moves up

Rohan Dennis in action on Stage 16.            
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Rohan Dennis in action on Stage 16. Show Grid

Overall leader Yates lost less time to second placed defending champion Dumoulin than many observers had predicted. "To come here and repay the team for all their hard work and to jump back into the top ten is a big day for me".

There theoretically shouldn't be major time gaps on the stage, but with plenty of riders desperate to make back time, it could lead to some fireworks near the end.

Dennis, 27, finished 14sec ahead of Germany's Tony Martin of Katusha-Alpecin with Dumoulin of Team Sunweb third at 22sec off the pace.

The four-time Tour de France champion is 3min 50sec behind Yates but only 39 seconds behind Pozzovivo and a spot on the podium.

Four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome also had a good day in the saddle, moving up to fourth overall after finishing fifth, 35 seconds behind the Australian. The 29-year-old Olympic omnium gold medallist adds to his two stage wins in Israel and last Friday's 13th stage at Nervesa della Battaglia.

Yeah, yeah. I just put a lot into it.
"From the start I felt I wasn't great", said Pinot who posted the 66th best time.

Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates said he was satisfied with his day after finishing the 34.2km stage from Trento to Rovereto in 22nd position. But also today was a big target for me.

"I think it's all to race for". But it looks to be a day for the breakaway as the general classification guys save their legs for the final three mountain stages before Sunday's ceremonial finish.

"I felt good in the first half".

"But despite sporting the rainbow skin suit as world champion, last year's Giro victor was unable to overturn the 2'11" deficit he held entering the stage - leaving Yates, by far the superior climber, in pole position with three summit finishes separating the riders from the final stage to Rome. It's not over yet.

"There are still some hard stages to come, I'll look to defend now, unfortunately for the fans", said Yates.

Three decisive summit finishes in the Alps precede the final processional stage into Rome - but before then there's a potential banana-skin of a stage from Riva del Garda to Iseo.

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