Simon Yates keeps lead as Elia Viviani wins sprint finish

Dennis wins Giro's 16th stage time-trial, Yates holds lead

Elia Viviani sprinted to his fourth victory of this year's Giro d'Italia on Wednesday, and Simon Yates maintained his hold on the leader's pink jersey after the 17th stage.

However, as he had done three times before, Viviani showed that he's the best sprinter at the Giro by roaring past to edge out Sam Bennett for stage honours.

Bennett stopped the clock 3min 4sec behind stage victor Rohan Dennis to post the 56th fastest time The LottoNL-Jumbo rider now sits 10th place on the general classification standings, 7min 1sec back from leader Simon Yates who limited his losses to his closest rival Tom Dumoulin.

Dennis had lost the opening time trial in Israel by two seconds to Dumoulin.

BMC rider Dennis is now sixth overall, five minutes behind Yates. "I'm happy because I think I jumped a few places in the standings".

"I wasn't good, I had no power. Unfortunately for the fans I can be a lot more defensive".

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"Yates leads Dumoulin by 56 seconds with Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) trailing by 3'11" and needing to defend his place on the virtual podium from Froome.

Today's 155km stage from Riva del Garda to Iseo features a climb straight out of the blocks and it will be interesting to see whether any of the GC hopefuls attack, particularly given the difficulties experienced by Yates's Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Esteban Chaves the last time the race went uphill from the start. "I hope there won't be any surprises in the future but for now I don't see any reason to doubt his..."

Dennis, 27, finished 14sec ahead of Germany's Tony Martin of Katusha-Alpecin with Dumoulin of Team Sunweb third at 22sec off the pace.

There theoretically shouldn't be major time gaps on the stage, but with plenty of riders desperate to make back time, it could lead to some fireworks near the end. "I'd like to have a bigger gap but I'm very satisfied with where I stand now".

But France's Thibaut Pinot lost more than three minutes on the stage victor to drop to fifth overall, 1min 8sec off Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo who occupies the final podium position.

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