Sunweb’s Dutch star and world champion time triallist rode 1-15 minutes into Yates in the pink jersey. He remained in second overall, with the gains moving him within 56 seconds of race leader Yates.
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Dumoulin finished third at 22 seconds in the time trial won by Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). Yates placed 20th over the 34.2-kilometre stage at 1-37 back, but 1-15 from his main rival.
“I was hoping for more, of course,” Dumoulin said when reaching his team’s van.
“I did a solid TT, but definitely not one of my best. I think Yates had a really good day again. He’s just in absolute wonderful shape and there’s nothing to do about it for me.”
The world champion won the opening time trial in Jerusalem and began the 2018 edition where he left off in 2017 – in the pink jersey.
Since, Dumoulin has been best of the rest in the classification battle for the Giro’s famous spiral trophy when the race finishes in Rome on Sunday. But that is not good enough to match Yates, who won three summit finishes so far and gained time in each occasion.
Dumoulin had his chance on stage 16 to recoup the entire deficit and perhaps move into the pink jersey. From there, he could have ridden defensively in the final three mountain days of this race.
“I started the TT like I always do, quiet conservative, and in one TT you can really speed up at the end and one TT, it’s not a day for that. It was the latter. I was only getting worse until the end and sometimes it’s like that.”
The Giro covers the famous roads of Franciacorta on Wednesday and the then three summit finishes: Pratonevoso, Bardonecchia, and Cervinia.
“At the moment, if I attack, he’ll attack me twice as hard,” Dumoulin continued. “So I don’t know what the plan is going to be. I didn’t think about that during the TT! I’ll think about it maybe tomorrow. Right now Yates is just too strong for me.
“Surrender? No. I have no other option [but to fight]. I’m not giving up, of course not.”