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Simon Yates retains Giro lead after limiting Dumoulin damage in time trial

• British rider keeps pink jersey with lead of 56 seconds
• Australia’s Rohan Dennis wins stage 16 time trial

Five days from the finish in Rome and with three mountain stages remaining, Simon Yates is within grasping distance of becoming the first Briton to win the Giro d’Italia after he defended his pink leader’s jersey in the three-week race’s longest and toughest time trial, holding the defending champion Tom Dumoulin to a more than respectable margin over the 34km between Trento and Rovereto.

To have any hope of overall victory, the Dutchman needed to wrestle the pink jersey from Yates’s slender shoulders even if only by a few seconds, but instead the world champion fared slightly worse than might have been predicted – finishing only third on the stage behind the Australian Rohan Dennis – which meant that Yates had only to improve slightly on what was expected in order to take a significant stride towards final victory.

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