Viviani sprints to fourth stage win, Yates retains pink jersey

  • Viviani sprints to fourth stage win, Yates retains pink jersey

Viviani sprints to fourth stage win, Yates retains pink jersey

Dennis, narrowly beaten by Dumoulin by just two seconds in the race's opening time trial in Jerusalem, rises from eleventh to sixth place on GC having got the better of both past and present world time trial champions, Martin and Dumoulin.

"This is a big day for me to jump back into the top 10", the Australian said.

"It really changes my tactics for the coming days", Yates admitted.

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

"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.

Britain's Team Sky rider and reigning Tour de France victor Chris Froome lies a further 39 seconds back in fourth.

"I'm really happy", he said, speaking on Eurosport. "I think- unfortunately for the fans - I can be a lot more defensive". Anything can happen. Friday, featuring the Cima Coppi (the highest point in the race) the 2,178m Colle delle Finestre, should be good fun, while Saturday's summit finish also sees the riders climb to 2,000m. We'll see. I have a bigger gap to the guys behind him as well - it's not only Tom.

"I gave everything on the road today", Froome said in Italian. But it looks to be a day for the breakaway as the general classification guys save their legs for the final three mountain stages before Sunday's ceremonial finish. I'm far from Yates and he's been very, very strong until now. I feel better every day. It's not over yet.

And the Team Sky rider warned the final week could see some surprises despite being 3min 50sec off compatriot Yates who looks increasingly hard to beat.

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.