Three-time stage winner Simon Yates has managed to retain the pink leader’s jersey after the second time trial of the Giro d’Italia.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider finished in 22nd position, one-minute 37seconds behind stage winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) and one-minute 15seconds behind closest general classification threat Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
Unlike the short, punchy time trial we saw back in Israel, today’s longer, more straightforward parcours was one better suited to the time trial specialists.
The first half of the 34.2km route was more-or-less flat before some minor bumps in the second half. Any technical corners, of which there were few, were also in its early and concluding stages.
It was Tony Martin (Team Katusha – Alpecin) who posted the first serious time of the day, stopping the clock at 40minutes and 14seconds and holding onto the hot seat for a large portion of the day.
The only rider who managed to knock him off his perch was Dennis who recorded an impressive 40-minute flat time over the 34.2km course.
The GC outlook:
Starting the day with a two-minute 11second advantage, Yates managed to hold the overall lead by limiting his losses to one-minute 15seconds to Dumoulin.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) both posted strong times, whilst Yates gained more time on Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).
Dumoulin now sits 56seconds behind Yates with Pozzovivo, who is now third, at three-minutes 11seconds adrift.
Simon Yates – Race Leader/Maglia Rosa:
“I am really happy, I felt good in the first 20-25km. I had a good rhythm and felt like I was going well. I wasn’t losing so much time and I was really trying to hold my position, but in the final ten kilometres I really died a thousand deaths.”
“I thought I would lose a lot more, but I managed to hang on and I am really happy with that. I think after today it will change our tactics for the coming stages and I think, unfortunately for the fans we will have to be a lot more defensive.
“We’ll see how it plays out, there’s quite a big gap to some of the guys behind me now, Tom (Dumoulin) is only 56seconds, but to the others it’s a good gap. There’s still a long way to go to Rome. I hope I don’t have any bad luck or bad days and I’ll see what I can do.”
Giro d’Italia stage 16 (ITT) results:
1. Rohan Dennis (BMC-Racing-Team) 00:40:00
2. Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:14
3. Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) +0:22
22. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:37
General classification after stage 16:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 66:39:14
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) +0:56
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +3:11