Yates in lead, but anxious about Dumoulin

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Once again, Bennett has come up just short of being able to keep the pace set by the top four favourites, but at the same time, has stayed composed to record another consistent finish when his other rivals faltered.

But once Chaves was distanced, the teams of overall hopefuls including four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome, reigning champion Dumoulin, local favourite Fabio Aru and French hope Pinot, pushed the pace in the peloton to ensure the Colombian never regained contact.

The lengthy stage was a brutal wake-up call after the race's second rest day, especially with two early climbs and constant rolling terrain along the rest of the route. "I'm motivated, the team's motivated and we're going to do as much as we can". "We are going to do as much as we can".

That leaves the four-time Tour de France victor 23rd overall and a massive three minutes and 20 seconds off the overall lead.

The Dutchman, who won last year's Giro, is the world time-trial champion and will be hoping to seize the race lead when the riders race against the clock on stage 16. Where there is no tape, scabs mark his leg and his arm. "When I saw that he was not passing, I gave it my all".

"He's getting better as the race goes on".

Froome said he feels like his normal self, the one that dominated the last few editions of the Tour de France.

A series of attacks began late in the day with stage honours on the line, and as the tension increased Dumoulin was caught in a small crash, with the Team Sunweb man needing a bike change before chasing back on. "There are many rivals still and they are close to me, but Tom is the one I'm afraid of because with the TT yet to come it's going to be hard to beat him".

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) may lead the 2018 Giro d'Italia, but he is anxious.

"No, no", Froome said when asked if he is thinking about quitting. "But I have to keep trying because I still don't have enough".

"It's good to get this racing in the legs".

"I was in a good position, the boys did a good job to get me up front, but Yates went, and I went after him, and I put myself in a bad spot and struggled to the line".

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