Chris Froome added a minute to his overall lead of the Tour de France by finishing an impressive second behind Tom Dumoulin on stage 13’s individual time trial.
Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin lived up to his status of pre-stage favourite by stopping the clock at 50min 15sec on a rolling, 37.5km course, which was 1min 3sec faster than Froome of Team Sky and 1min 31sec quicker than third-placed Movistar rider Nelson Oliveira Froome was comfortably the strongest of the overall contenders, beating Adam Yates of Orica-BikeExchange by 1min 58sec, Movistar’s Nairo Quintana by 2min 5sec and Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segafredo by 51 seconds.
The result stretches his lead at the top of the general classification from 47 seconds to 1min 47sec over Mollema, who climbed from fourth to second overall after continuing his excellent form with a sixth-place finish on the day.
Dumoulin, meanwhile, claimed his second win of this year’s Tour and simultaneously announced himself as the favourite for next month’s Olympic time trial, where Froome is likely to once again be among his closest rivals.
Afterwards, Dumoulin admitted his joy had been tempered by news of Thursday night’s terror attack in Nice.
He said: “We are speaking with one side a very happy man, but one side a sad man. It’s a very sad day.It was a just question to ask if we should race today, and at the end a very just decision to race. I think we cannot let terrorists decide our lives here in our society. It’s terrible what happened and it shadows the day a lot. My thoughts are with everyone involved in the horrific events in Nice.”
Tour organisers held a “crisis meeting” over whether the stage should go ahead but decided “the race must go on” as a tribute to the victims of Thursday’s attack. Dumoulin set the fastest time at all three intermediate checkpoints and victory never really looked in doubt, and neither did Froome’s superiority over his rivals after he reached the top of the first climb 15 seconds faster than Yates and 33 seconds quicker than Quintana.
He continued to pull away from the pair all the way to the finish line and only met resistance from Mollema, who admitted afterwards he has ridden the best time trial of his career.
The Tour continues tomorrow with a mostly flat 208.5km 14th stage from Montelimar to Villars-les-Dombes that is expected to end in a sprint finish.
Stage 13 result
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin, 50:15
2 Chris Froome (GB) 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, +1:54
7 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, +2:00
8 Ion Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, +2:02
9 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step, +2:05
10 Steve Cummings (GB) Dimension Data, +2:24
15 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, +2:48
18 Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange, +3:01
20 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +3:08
21 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing, same time
1 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, 58:02:51
2 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, +1:47
3 Adam Yates (GB) 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 Dan Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step, +5:03
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +5:16