Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) retained the Maglia Azzurra ahead of the conclusive Individual Time Trial in San Benedetto del Tronto with a slim advantage of three seconds over Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing Team).
“Today was a very hard stage," Kittel said. "In the beginning, there was a lot of up and down. I think we had quite a lot of altitude meters, plus there was cold weather and rain.
"We really tried to control the race to set a speed that I could follow to make life easier for me because we knew at the end it was a nice course for me. I’m really happy and my teammates did so well to keep control and work for me today. I’m very happy and proud to win my second stage in a race in Italy."