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Simon Yates keeps the pink jersey after time-trial stage 16 at the Giro d'Italia as Rohan Dennis wins

Credit: PA

Simon Yates cleared a significant hurdle in his bid for Giro d'Italia glory as the Bury rider kept the leader's pink jersey on Tuesday's time trial, which was won by Australian Rohan Dennis.

Yates' time of 41 minutes 37 seconds over the 34.5km course from Trento to Roverto was only 22nd on the day but enough for the 25-year-old Mitchelton-Scott rider to keep the race lead by 56 seconds from defending champion Tom Dumoulin of Team Sunweb.

Dutchman Dumoulin, the world time trial champion, took 75 seconds out of Yates, but had started the day two minutes and 11 seconds down in second place.

Team Sky's Chris Froome recorded the fifth best time on the day with a 40:35, which sees him move up to fourth overall, three minutes and 50 seconds down, after Frenchman Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ struggled mightily.

BMC Racing's Dennis, who won with a time of 40 minutes exactly, moves up to sixth overall with his first career Giro d'Italia stage win.

Australian Rohan Dennis won the stage 16 time trial at the Giro d'Italia, with Chris Froome fifth - but Britain's Simon Yates did enough to retain the overall lead.

BMC Racing Team rider Dennis clocked 40 minutes exactly over the 34.2km course from Trento to Rovereto, which was 14 seconds ahead of German Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 22 seconds off the pace and Team Sky's Froome 35 seconds behind.

Yates, though, kept himself in the maglia rosa after clocking 41mins and 37secs as the last man out, to now sit 56 seconds ahead of Dumoulin in the general classifications, with the Mitchelton-Scott rider looking to close in on the Grand Tour title.

Yates was delighted to keep pink and said doing so will allow him to take a different approach into the final week after some aggressive racing so far.

"I'm really happy," he said, speaking on Eurosport. "The first half I felt good, I had a good rhythm and I felt I was going well, I wasn't losing so much time. I was really trying to hold my position.

"But the final 10km, I really died a thousands deaths. I thought I would lose a lot more time but I managed to hang on and I'm really happy.

"It really changes my tactics for the coming days, I think. Unfortunately for the fans I can be a lot more defensive."