Tour de France 2016: Chris Froome races clear overall after individual time trial - Road Cycling UK

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Tour de France 2016: Chris Froome races clear overall after individual time trial

Tom Dumoulin wins blustery individual time trial as second-placed Froome opens up big GC lead

Dutch time trial champion Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was in a league of his own on the blustery, technical individual time trial course to win stage 13 of the 2016 Tour de France.

No man finished within a minute of the Dutchman’s time of 50.15 – but yellow jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky), who finished second at 63 seconds, now boasts a commanding lead overall.

Dumoulin, in the red, white and blue skinsuit, paid tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Nice, for which a minute’s silence was held before the stage, after storming to victory on the testing course.

Froome, meanwhile, put significant time into all of his GC rivals on a day which saw three Brits – Froome, Geraint Thomas and Steve Cummings – finish in the top ten.

Tom Dumoulin won stage 13 of the 2016 Tour de France and paid tribute to victims of the terror attack in Nice (pic: Sirotti)

With a headwind recorded at the start, and crosswinds at the first two time checks, the course was a testing one, and not just because of the bumpy route profile.

Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) set the early clubhouse lead with a time of 54 minutes and 37 seconds, but with a host of specialist time trial riders on the course early in the day, it was never going to stand for long.

Polish champion Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff) smashed that mark, with a time of 52.47, before Australian time trial champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) shaved another 51 seconds off the best time.

Britain’s Cummings (Dimension Data), one of the few early pace-setters not be a national time trial champion, looked well set for a second stage win when he set the fastest times at the first two time checks, but the Merseysider lost time on the final part of the course.

Movistar’s Portuguese national time trial champion Nelson Oliveira was next into the hot seat, carrying his pace into the final rise to the finish line, unlike Cummings, to knock another ten seconds off the mark.

Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) missed out, however – his time only good enough to break into the provisional top five as his chances of a stage win in his final Tour de France faded.

World time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka, in the rainbow skinsuit, was six minutes in arrears, meanwhile – evidently saving his efforts to support Chris Froome in the coming stages.

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) crashed on the course and left in an ambulance – only the 11th rider, with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-BikeExchange) abandoning overnight, to quit the race so far.

Jerome Coppel (Cofidis) came closest to toppling Oliveira, finishing just four seconds slower, but Tony Martin paid the price for his efforts on the front of the bunch on the previous two stages – down at the time checks, he was unable to claw back any time on the final climb.

Dumoulin had no such problems, however, and was evidently on a great day as he passed his two-minute man, Amael Moinard, in super-quick time.

He had passed his four-minute man by the time he reached the third time check and made light work of the increasing winds to record a time of 50.15.

The podium ceremony post-stage was changed, with the leading riders instead coming together for a minute’s silence. Froome is 1.47 clear on GC (pic: Sirotti)

Dumoulin’s time appeared unbeatable, meaning attention was focussed instead on how the GC men fared against each other.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) did any personal ambitions of a top-ten finish he still holds no harm, catching Pierre Rolland (Cannondale) and finishing just inside two minutes of Dumoulin’s mark.

Of the riders in the top ten, Daniel Martin lost lots of time in the early part of the course, while Romain Bardet looked to be struggling with the wind as he veered from his line several times.

Fabio Aru (Astana) was another to struggle – already three minutes down as he wrestled through the third time check with the final climb to come, he was 4’25” down on Dumoulin at the finish.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), like many of the smaller riders, also cursed the wind as he finished a second over the 55-minute mark.

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) put in a steady 53.23 on a ride which included a near-miss with a French tricolore as the wind blew a small spectator’s flag across his path, but appeared disappointed he had been unable to get more out of the stage.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) had more luck though, riding himself firmly into GC contention, becoming only the fifth man within two minutes of fellow Dutchman Dumoulin.

Froome, however, was enjoying another stunning day on the bike and was rapidly closing in on three-minute man Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) when Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished in 53.23.

Yates clocked a time of 53.16 but Froome was already entering the final 500m as his fellow Brit finished – Dumoulin’s time safe, but the only one that was as he finished in second-place just 63 seconds slower than the Dutchman.

The stage, for the second time in this year’s Tour de France, belonged to Dumoulin but for Froome it is a commanding lead he now holds overall

Tour de France 2016: stage 13 – result

1) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin – 50.15
2) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +1.03
3) Nelson Oliveira (POR) – Movistar +1.31
4) Jerome Coppel (FRA) – IAM Cycling +1.35
5) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – BMC Racing +1.41
6) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo +1.53
7) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky +2.00
8) Ion Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar +2.02
9) Tony Martin (GER) – Etixx-QuickStep +2.05
10) Steve Cummings (GBR) – Dimension Data +2.24

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 58.02.51hrs
2) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo +1.47
3) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange +2.45
4) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +2.59
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +3.17
6) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing +3.19
7) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +4.04
8) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing +4.27
9) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +5.03
10) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +5.16

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