Quintana keeps lead but Dumoulin remains pick to win Giro

Quintana and fellow general classification contenders Thibaut Pinot of France and Italy's defending champion Vincenzo Nibali joined the Colombian in attacking on the two climbs today.

"It's great. It's really insane". Luckily I had good legs and I just went for it. I also remember that Quintana won a time trial at the Route du Sud ahead of Sylvain Chavanel past year. The win earned Pinot a 10-second time bonus.

"It s still quite hard", Quintana said when asked if he could win in Milan on Sunday.

Van Emden: "I was too many times second [in his career], and this is a great day for Dutch cycling".

The pair managed to open a 19-second gap over the leaders group but Quintana responded and was followed by Nibali and Pinot as the gradient hit 11% and managed to close the gap to the lead pair, while also distancing Dumoulin, who was 30 seconds down.

Dumoulin's victory was historic on several fronts.

The 26-year-old time-trial specialist turned grand tour rider had flagged himself up in 2015 when he took sixth place overall in the Tour of Spain.

It is Dumoulin's first grand tour win, and Dumoulin is the first Dutch victor of the Giro.

ASIAGO, Italy (AP) - Nairo Quintana held on to the pink jersey in the penultimate stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday but likely didn't pick up enough seconds on his most unsafe rival, Tom Dumoulin, to claim overall victory. It was the Frenchman's first Giro stage win, and as a capable time triallist he is in with a shot for the overall win in tomorrow's time trial.

Nibali and Quintana combined as they had in other stages to try to drop Dumoulin and add enough time to their lead to be safe for the final time trial.

Attacks from Nibali, Quintana, Pinot and Zakarin put Dumoulin in difficulty on the climb to Foza but the Dutchman limited his deficit on the flatter finale.

Though Quintana began the Stage 21 time trial with a 53-second advantage over Dumoulin, the Dutchman - a silver medalist in the Olympic time trial event last summer - was widely viewed as the favorite for the overall after taking 2:53 from the Colombian in the 40km Stage 10 time trial.

Jungels had worn pink and white during this year's race but Yates assumed the lead after stage 17 and had a 28-second advantage. In 2009, in Rome, Russian Denis Menchov led Italy's Danilo Di Luca by just 20 seconds heading into the final 15.5km race against the clock; Menchov cinched the overall by 41 seconds, even after a crash and bike swap in the final kilometers. "Just everything fell into place the whole Giro".

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  • Julie Sanders