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  1. Chris Froome: I can't see anyone taking the jersey off Yates' shoulders

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) moved to within striking distance of a podium position in the 2018 Giro d'Italia after posting a par performance in the key Rovereto time trial during stage 16. He insisted it's "still all to race for" as the corsa rosa prepares for three important stages in the mountains, which start with the steady ascent to Pratonevoso on Thursday.

    The Briton finished fifth, 35 seconds down on Rohan Dennis' (BMC Racing) winning time and 13 seconds behind Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).

    "After the rest day I felt a bit better, a bit more recovered," Froome acknowledged.

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    "I rode that stage the way I wanted to. I didn't take any risks out on the course today especially given what happened in Jerusalem. Maybe I'm lacking a little bit of confidence in the corners, but in terms of power and feelings I was pretty happy about today," he said to a small group of media while warming down.

    Froome rode a steady stage. He was 24 seconds down on Dennis' benchmark time, and he slipped to 31 seconds behind at the second checkpoint. It was the first time Froome had finished outside of the top three in a late stage Grand Tour TT since the short final test of the Vuelta a España in 2014.

    Froome lies in fourth after moving past Richard Carapaz (Movistar), Miguel Ángel López (Astana) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). He is 39 seconds off Domenico Pozzovivo's (Bahrain-Merida) third place on overall classification and 3:50 behind an increasingly secure-looking Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), who said he had ridden the best long time trial of his career.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Dygert-Owen recovering from concussion suffered in Amgen Women's Race

    Chloe Dygert-Owen (Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air) is recovering from a concussion suffered in a crash during the opening stage of the Amgen Women's Race on May 17. The multi-time track world champion is hoping to be healthy ahead of the time trial at the USA Cycling Professional Championships in Knoxville on June 21.

    Dygert-Owen crashed in the closing kilometre of stage 1 at the Women's WorldTour event, as teams were leading out their sprinters for a bunch kick in Elk Grove.

    She later wrote in a social media post, which included a video of the crash, that she had been drifting back in the main field after finishing her role in the team's lead out when she crashed and hit her head against the pavement.

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    Dygert-Owen will next race at the national championships in three weeks and is aiming for a top place in the women's time trial, an event that she is a favourite to win. The women will race two laps of the Oak Ridge circuit, totalling 22.8km.

    Dygert-Owen, 21, is a two-time current world champion in the Team Pursuit and Individual Pursuit, and holds the world record for the latter. These accolades were earned at the UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn at the start of this year. During her career, Dygert-Owen has won five gold medals at the World Championships on the track and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Time trial win puts Dennis back on course at Giro d'Italia

    Whatever happens from here, Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) has something tangible to show for his Giro d'Italia, though he is not ready to label his race an unqualified success just yet. The Alps await, and there is again a place in the top 10 overall to be defended.

    After a spell in the maglia rosa during the opening week, Dennis added stage victory in the Rovereto time trial on Tuesday, but he might have been almost as pleased to have moved up to sixth place overall with just five days remaining.

    "To be honest, I was hoping I could take more time out of some of the climbers but I'm not going to say no to a lead of two minutes over 10th place, that gives me a bit of a buffer," said Dennis, who lies 5:04 down on the unassailable maglia rosa of Simon Yates. "But the stage win is hard to go past. I would have liked to have two, from Israel and here. But having pink for four or five days, and now a stage win is pretty good so far, I think."

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    Dennis set off down the start ramp in Trento targeting the time of the day's early pace-setter, Tony Martin, and he cruised through the opening time check after 12 kilometres with a lead of 15 seconds over the German, though the gap tightened considerably by the next check after 25 kilometres.

    Come the finishing straight, Dennis believed he had already fallen short of the best mark, only for his radio earpiece to crackle into life with the felicitations of directeur sportif Marco Pinotti. He stopped the clock in 40 minutes flat, to beat Martin by 14 seconds.

    "For some reason, I thought Tony had done a 39:40 and I thought I'd lost it but when I got to the finish Pinotti was in my ear screaming, and there was no time on the clock at the finish, which normally means you're the quickest," Dennis said. "Then they confirmed I was quickest and it was a good surprise."

    Rocky road to Rome

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Bernal set to make Tour de France debut after California victory

    After a hugely successful spring, Egan Bernal is set to make his Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France this year, Cyclingnews understands.

    The hugely talented 21-year-old Colombian joined Team Sky for the start of the 2018 season from Androni Giocattoli and has produced a string of superb performances, fast tracking his WorldTour career.

    He won the Colombia Oro y Paz in February and last week claimed his first WorldTour stage race victory at the Tour of California. In between, he won a stage and finished second overall at the Tour de Romandie, and was second overall at the Volta a Catalunya before crashing out on the final day. 

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    At the start of the season, it was thought Bernal would make his Grand Tour debut in his first year with Team Sky but that the opportunity was expected to come at the Vuelta a España later in the season. "I don’t think it will be the Giro, and for sure it won’t be the Tour de France, but I'd like to try the Vuelta," Bernal himself had said in January. 

    However, Cyclingnews understands that Bernal's start to the season, and especially his performances at Romandie and California, have caused a major re-think and he is now in line to ride the Tour de France. He is expected to miss the Critérium du Dauphiné and instead prepare for the Tour de France.  

    Chris Froome is, in theory, set to lead Team Sky in July if his salbutamol case does not reach a verdict before the start on July 7, while Geraint Thomas is also targeting the Tour de France. Bernal would in theory be a key teammate in the mountains and so escape the spotlight of expectation that his results are rapidly commanding. 

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Simon Yates makes a molehill of Everest in Giro d'Italia time trial

    Last week, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) described stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia as the Mount Everest standing between him and final overall victory. On Tuesday, the Briton made the 34km time trial from Trento to Rovereto seem rather more like a training ride up Cragg Vale than an assault on a forbidding summit. As if it wasn't abundantly clear already, the Giro is his to lose.

    Yates has already climbed with disarming facility to claim three stage victories during his tenure in pink, but this latest display, on supposedly hostile terrain, was perhaps the most remarkable of his race to date. He began the day with a lead of 2:11 over world time trial champion Tom Dumoulin and, his team maintained privately, more than a fighting chance of retaining a few seconds of that lead.

    In the end, Yates exceeded even their giddiest expectations by placing 20th on the stage, 1:37 behind winner Rohan Dennis and just 1:15 behind Dumoulin. In the overall standings, Yates has a buffer of 56 seconds over Dumoulin, with everybody else now more than three minutes back. It was, by some distance, the best time trial of his professional career.

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    "I think definitely for the longer time trials," Yates said. "I've had some good prologues and short time trials before, which were probably a little bit better, but for the long ones, this is definitely the best."

    The pan flat course from Trento to Rovereto ought to have suited the power of Dumoulin, but from the first time check after 12 kilometres, it was clear that the Dutchman would not divest Yates of the maglia rosa. Yates was just 21 seconds back at that point, and he maintained a similar tempo to the second check after 25 kilometres, where the gap edged out to 48 seconds.

    "I'm very satisfied. The first 25 kilometres were really good, I had a really good rhythm, I felt good, but then the final 10 were horrific, I was really dying a thousand deaths. But I managed to hold it together, and I am still here in the jersey, so I'm extremely happy," Yates said. "On a course like that, it's one pace, there was no area where you needed to squeeze or hold back. It was a drag race, really."

    Terbutaline

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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