Thus, despite all efforts of Sanchez and his breakaway companions, the peloton caught them with 10 km to go to play stage 17 (Riva del Garda - Iseo, 155 km) win in a massive sprint: the Italian Elia Viviani won his fourth stage at this Giro d'Italia, outsprinting Sam Bennett and Niccolo Bonifazio.
Britain's Simon Yates retained the leader's pink jersey with a 56-sec lead on defending champion Tom Dumoulin going into the crucial, final week of racing. The 29-year-old Olympic omnium gold medallist adds to his two stage wins in Israel and last Friday's 13th stage at Nervesa della Battaglia.
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However Dumoulin's main concern will be taking time on Yates, with the Dutchman coming into the stage 2-11 behind Yates and probably needing to get all that time and a bit more back if he is going to be able to stand a chance of standing on the top step of the podium in Rome.
"I felt good in the first half".
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"I thought I would lose a lot more, but I managed to hold on so I'm really happy".
"I was really trying to hold my position, but the final 10km, I really died a thousands deaths". Unfortunately for the fans I may have to be a lot more defensive. But also today was a big target for me. "From the start I felt I wasn't great", said Pinot, who posted the 66th-best time.
But France's Thibaut Pinot lost more than three minutes on the stage victor to drop to fifth overall, 1min 8sec off Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo who occupies the final podium position. "I'm really happy. I'm really surprised I've kept the jersey, I'll be honest".
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