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Simon Yates cleared a significant hurdle in his bid for overall glory as the English rider kept the leader's pink jersey after today's time trial, which was won by Australian Rohan Dennis.

Yates finished in 28th place behind defending champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands and four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome.

With the climbers having had fun in the mountains in the last couple of days before a rest day on Monday, stage 16 sees the riders face a 34.2km time trial on largely flat and untechnical valley roads between Trento and Rovereto.

"Basically, I just have to hold on for as long as possible. There's going to be guys trying to do insane things in the last week", he added.

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

Simon Yates has been in imperious form on the Giro Italia climbs and now he has backed it up with a commendable display in the time trial to make himself outright favourite for the title.

Four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome was fifth on the stage, 35 seconds behind the Australian as the Team Sky rider moves up to fourth from seventh overall.

"It's a good gap and I'll see what I can do". I thought I would lose a lot more time but I managed to hang on and I'm really happy.

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"I was really trying to hold my position, but the final 10km, I really died a thousands deaths. To come here and repay the team for all their hard work and to jump back into the top ten is a big day for me".

"I have a much bigger gap to the guys behind me, just not Tom as he's only a minute, but the guys behind him that's quite a lot".

However, Yates still leads Dumoulin by 56 seconds heading into the final five stages.

"I wasn't good, I had no power".

"I think it's all to race for".

"I'm really happy", he said. "There's going to be guys trying to do insane things in the last week".

"I wasn't good, I had no power".

The 17th stage on Wednesday is a hilly 155-kilometer ride from Riva del Garda to Iseo, through the wine region of Franciacorta, before three grueling days in the Alps.