Stage 11 from Assisi to Osimo

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The great mountain passes tend to catch the eye when the route of the Giro d'Italia is presented each autumn, but come May, some less heralded finales inevitably end up shedding important light on the general classification battle.

"I was going to go for the bonus sprint because I need to gain time on Tom Dumoulin but, when I saw Thibaut Pinot getting a lead out, I went past him", he added.

"I'm not going to lie, that crash took a lot out of me". I'm not very good in a sprint from a slow speed so I launched and I increased my speed as much as I could. "I need as many seconds as I can get so maybe I need to go for more bonus seconds". Tom was chasing me all the way to the line, " Yates said. "But I have to keep trying because I still don't have enough".

"I certainly haven't given up hope, " Froome said.

Bennett finished 12th on the 11th stage to cling on to sixth overall. "I'm going to keep plugging away".

Supported by three Mitchelton-Scott team-mates, Chaves managed to reduce the arrears to just one minute back to the main pack before his rivals combined to stretch out the lead to five minutes with still more than 80km left to ride. "I'm motivated, the team's motivated and we're going to do as much as we can".

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The hilly stage included a climb through Michele Scarponi's hometown of Filottrano in honour of the 2012 Giro victor who died after a collision with a van while training shortly before last year's race.

Just over 30km into the race Astana Pro's Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain), BMC Racing's Alessandro De Marchi (Italy), Androni Sidermec-Bottecchia's Fausto Masnada (Italy), Bardiani CSF's Mirco Maestri (Italy) and Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia's Alex Turrin (Italy) broke clear from the peloton.

What was expected to be a quiet transition stage - over the longest distance of the entire giro at 244km - turned into a frantic day of racing after Chaves was dropped on the category two climb which opened the day's racing.

Yates attacked with about 1.5 kilometers remaining of the 156-kilometer leg from Assisi to Osimo and held off Dumoulin on the steep climb to the finish to claim his second victory of the race.

The race ends in Rome on May 27.

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