Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) lived up to his promises to try to gain more time in the mountains on his Giro d'Italia rivals, taking out the stage victory on stage 9 to Gran Sasso d'Italia over Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and his own teammate Esteban Chaves.
Some of the pre-race contenders suffered on the climb to 2900m, with Yates putting 22 seconds into defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), 1:07 into Chris Froome (Team Sky) and 1:14 into Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates).
Considering the 34.2km time trial in the final week, 38 seconds might not yet be enough of a lead over the Dumoulin, but the 2:27 Yates amassed in the first nine days over Froome is a healthy buffer.
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