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Giro leader Yates gains 3 seconds but his team struggles

17 May 2018

Nelson cyclist George Bennett has finished 12th on the latest stage of the Giro d'Italia to maintain his sixth place overall.

Dumoulin, who is a time-trial specialist, was two seconds behind with Davide Formolo third, five seconds slower than Yates.

Yates does not carry a calculator, but he will be doing the math when he is racing.

Yates, for his part, seems to be mentally totting up the seconds per kilometres he can afford to lose on stage 16.

By the time the 28-year-old Colombian crossed the line in the gruppetto, the counter was north of 25 minutes, ending any hope of Mitchelton-Scott completing an historic one-two in Rome - but ensuring that all eggs will now be put in the basket marked Yates.

It certainly felt that way in Osimo on Wednesday afternoon, where maglia rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) notched up his second stage win of the Giro and defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) seemed the only man capable of operating at something approaching the same rarefied level as the Briton. He underscored his intentions to win a second consecutive Giro.

Two riders tumbled out of the top 10, with Michael Woods losing 65 seconds, while Chris Froome's horror Giro continued, losing 40 seconds. I'm happy that I got more time on Tom. I first thought Esteban Chaves would be able to come back but it was a really insane stage and I'm very disappointed for him as I know he's worked very hard for this. "There's still some really hard stages to come". I already have a good gap to Froome.

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"It was the most aggressive stage I've seen for a while", said Yates.

There is, of course, the small matter of a brutal weekend doubleheader in Friuli to negotiate first.

What was expected to be a quiet transition stage - over the longest distance of the entire giro at 244km - turned into a frantic day of racing after Chaves was dropped on the category two climb which opened the day's racing.

The four-time Tour de France victor now trails his fellow Briton by three minutes and 20 seconds as his hopes of winning the race continue to fade. Four children and five adults were pulled alive from the snow and debris days after the avalanche.

"We decided before the stage that we wouldn't chase for the stage, because normally in a finish like that there are some faster guys who have won before me", Yates said afterwards.

"I'm in a position where I need to gain time".

Giro leader Yates gains 3 seconds but his team struggles