Chris Froome Stretches Tour de France Lead With Strong Stage 13 Time Trial
Sky’s Chris Froome extended his lead in the 2016 Tour de France with a powerful second-place performance in Stage 13, a 37.5 km time trial which started with an eight-percent, seven-kilometer climb and finished with an equally steep four-km ascent.
Giant-Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin won the stage, his second of the 2016 Tour. Dumoulin, a TT specialist, completed the course in 50:15. Froome finished in 51:18, 51 seconds ahead of his nearest General Classification rival, Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema, who advanced from fourth to second overall.
Nairo Quintana, considered by many to be Froome’s strongest challenger, turned in a lackluster performance, finishing 20th and losing 2:05 to Froome. Quintana dropped to fourth in GC.
Quintana appeared unconcerned to have lost still more time to his rival, but his words betrayed a slight loss of confidence. The Movistar team leader told LeTour.com after the stage, “I’m three minutes down in the GC, that’s a little far. I hope the legs will continue to be good. There are still a lot of mountains. I will try to attack like I’ve always done. I hope I will have the legs to do it. We’re going to try everything we can.”
Adam Yates of Orica-BikeExchange finished 18th on the stage, dropping from second the third in G, but still solidified his lead in the Best Young Rider competition.
The normally raucous podium celebrations were muted in respect for the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attack in Nice. No music was played, no names were announced. Instead, all the various classification winners stood on stage together for a minute of silence in respect for the dead, injured and affected.
Stage winner Tom Dumoulin told NBC Sports that he was torn between joy and sadness.
“You are speaking with a very happy man on one side, and on the others side a very sad man. I woke up to the terrible news from Nice. it was a very just question whether we should race today, and a very just decision to race. We cannot let terrorists decide our lives here in our society.
“It is terrible what happened, and it shadows this day.
“Of course I am happy with the win—it’s what I came for in this Tour de France. At the same time my thoughts are with the people caught up in this horrific attack.”