Mohoric sprints to stage 10 win as Yates extends lead

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The resolution of salbutamol case notwithstanding, Froome will surely have to give serious thought to pulling out and preparing for the Tour de France if he can not arrest the downward trend at the weekend.

"I'd prefer him still to be there, so we had more cards to play and tactics in the final".

"I don't know, I really don't know", Dumoulin explained.

A series of attacks began late in the day with stage honours on the line, and as the tension increased Dumoulin was caught in a small crash, with the Team Sunweb man needing a bike change before chasing back on. The Italian champion, like Froome, conceded more than a minute at Gran Sasso d'Italia on Sunday, though he limited the damage to 21 seconds here. But with two sprint stages ahead before a mammoth stage 14 on Saturday night, a solid grip on sixth place is an extremely advantageous spot to be in as the race starts to get serious.

"It was the most aggressive stage I've seen for a while", said Yates. "I'm going to keep fighting".

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

Mohoric thanked his team, which is centered around Domenico Pozzovivo in fourth overall, for letting him go for the victory.

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The hilly stage included a climb through Michele Scarponi's hometown of Filottrano in honor 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.

Froome is more than three minutes behind now.

Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors' picks. With Bennett trying to position himself at the front, the attacks flew, with classics specialist Zdenek Stybar linking with Tim Wellens to launch the first escape plan.

The Sky rider reached the finish line in 23rd place on the stage, all of 40 seconds behind Yates, and in the general classification, he drops to 12th overall, already some 3:20 off the maglia rosa.

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