I haven't done much this year, so it's good to get the racing in. It was a really, really tough finish with the pave, but happy to gain time and win the stage", Yates said, adding, "I still have nothing.
Bennett has finished in 12th on this morning's stage - his fourth straight top-20 finish - crossing the line 23 seconds off the pace, and losing time to four of the five riders ahead of him on the general classification. I'm not scared of the third week; I'm scared of the time trial.
"I'd prefer him still to be there, so we had more cards to play and tactics in the final".
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. "But I have to keep trying because I still don't have enough". He is more than three minutes behind.
Mohoric was part of an earlier breakaway before getting away for good in the latter part of the stage.
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 going to keep fighting". "You can only hide it for so long", said Froome.
France's Thibaut Pinot would end eight seconds adrift of Yates on the stage, which took place in the hometown of the late Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a training ride a year ago.
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.
After another flat stage, the race features a climb up Monte Zoncolan on Saturday and a gruelling leg through the Dolomite Range on Sunday. The race ends in Rome on 27 May.