Yates wins stage to extend Giro lead


Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric of the Bahrain-Merida team edged Nico Denz of AG2R in a two-man sprint to win the stage while all of the other leaders finished safely in the main pack, 34 seconds behind.

Yates picked up three more seconds on defending champion Tom Dumoulin by taking bonuses from the intermediate sprint, but saw Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Esteban Chaves lose second place overall and drop out of the top 10 in a blow for his team.

Two riders tumbled out of the top 10, with Michael Woods losing 65 seconds, while Chris Froome's horror Giro continued, losing 40 seconds. We also hear from the Dutchman and his coach, plus Belgian Tim Wellens, who looked good for the stage victory until Yates blasted past him about 1,300 metres from the line.

Yates gained a few more seconds on closest rival Tom Dumoulin by winning his second stage of the tour. Dumoulin has been consistent but unspectacular when the road has climbed to this point, but his fierce pursuit of Yates at Osimo suggested that his condition is in crescendo as the Giro reaches its midway point. "I felt good all day and I'm really pleased that I took advantage of the opportunity".

On Monday's rest day, Pinot had already warned of the dangers of the Giro's traversal of Umbria and the Marche, and suggested that he was already expecting to lose ground to more explosive riders like Yates.

"That was defiantly a lot harder than I expected", Bennett said after the race.

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This weekend with the stage to Monte Zoncolan and the climb-heavy day to Sappada much could change.

'I'd prefer to be getting more time on Tom, ' admitted Yates.

"The team is motivated and I'm motivated. That's why I tried to attack him before", an elated Mohoric said after his gruelling ride.

Ireland's Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) won a reduced bunch sprint for third place to keep the pressure up on Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) in the battle for the maglia ciclamino after the Italian was dropped early on alongside Chaves. Four children and five adults were pulled alive from the snow and debris days after the avalanche.

Thursday's 12th stage is a flat, 214-kilometer route from Osimo to the motorsport race circuit of Imola. The race ends in Rome on 27 May.