Yates heads into the crucial Giro d'Italia stage 16 time trial with a 2-11 advantage over defending champion Dumoulin

Giro d’Italia race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is bound to lose to Tom Dumoulin in the upcoming stage 16 time trial, but how much?

The 34.2-kilometre time trial, mostly flat and straight, runs in the Valle dei Laghi from Trento to Rovereto. It could allow Team Sunweb’s Dumoulin, who sits second at 2-11 minutes, to overtake Yates and play for the overall win in Rome next Sunday.

>>> ‘Two minutes is still not enough’: Simon Yates still thinks he’ll lose pink to Dumoulin in time trial

“If they come out of the mountains well, the gains could be 1-30 or 1-40 minutes,” Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli told Cycling Weekly.

“Yates really has condition, he could lose time, more than he thinks in the last week. I think Dumoulin will have 1-30, it wouldn’t be enough for him to win the race overall, but he’s improving. I think he’ll be in the pink after the time trial, but he’ll have to really work to keep that jersey in the last week.

World time trail champion Tom Dumoulin has lost time, but has ridden consistently daily to keep Yates worried. The Dutchman won the opening time trial in Jerusalem and wore the pink jersey for one day.

“Dumoulin could take 1-20 or 1-30, it’s going to be really tight for the standings after the time trial,” sports director at Trek-Segafredo, Steven De Jongh said.

“The speed will be pretty high, it’ll be challenging, especially the day after the rest day. We always see one rider having a bad day after the rest day, the other day it was Esteban Chaves. Who will it be in the time trial?

“It’s going to be hard to come back and take time on Yates, but Zoncolan was one of the hardest stages and Dumoulin didn’t lose too much.”

Simon Yates attacks on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia (Sunada)

Dumoulin drifted near the back on Monte Zoncolan, but limited his loses when Froome attacked at 4.1 kilometres remaining. He finished only 31 seconds behind Yates. No one could stop Yates en route to Sappada, but again Dumoulin managed himself well.

“I would say 40 seconds every 10 kilometres, so I think Dumoulin still has a good chance,” explained Tristan Hoffman, Bahrain-Merida sports director. “Maybe it’s 20 seconds only because Yates is in good shape, it depends on the wind. If it’s headwind, it’s all about the power, so maybe Dumoulin could take more.”

“More than two minutes on Yates, even if Yates is in good condition and can defend himself,” Stefano Zanatta, sports director at Team Bardiani-CSF said. “I don’t know if that will be enough for Dumoulin to win the race overall.”

“Let’s say 1-30 or 1-45 on Yates in the time trial,” added Marc Sergeant, Lotto-Soudal general manager. “We’ve never seen Yates this strong, maybe he’ll only lose one minute.”

“It’s clear to see that Yates is going like 10 men,” said Trek-Segafredo time trial specialist, Ryan Mullen. “I’d like to see Yates spank them.

“I am sure being in the maglia rosa will give him extra horse power. The way he’s been riding I don’t think he’ll lose much, but after a rest day, it’s a question mark. I really suffer, but he’s no longer a rookie.”