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With a time of 50.15, Dumoulin beat Froome by 1.03 to take a dominant win in the long time trial at the Tour de France; Oliveira completed the podium while Froome beat Quintana by 2.05 to extend his lead

Photo: A.S.O.

CHRIS FROOME

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NELSON OLIVEIRA

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TEAM SKY

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TEAM SUNWEB

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TOM DUMOULIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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15.07.2016 @ 18:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) made himself the overwhelming favourite for the Olympic time trial by crushing the opposition in the 37.5km time trial on stage 13 of the Tour de France. The Dutchman turned out to be in a class of his own, beating Chris Froome (Sky) by 1.03 and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) by 1.31. Froome crushed his GC rivals and extended his lead over Bauke Mollema (Trek) to 1.47 after the Dutchman did the TT of his life to finish sixth and move into second overall. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) lost 2.05 to Froome and is not 2.59 behind in fourth.

 

All year Tom Dumoulin has made it clear that he has one overwhelming goal: to win the gold medal in the time trial at the Olympics. He still targeted stage wins at the Giro and the Tour but it was all just preparation for the big battle in Brazil.

 

The long 37.5km time trial at the Tour de France was always set to be his big test as he was up against key rivals Rohan Dennis (BMC), Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and Chris Froome and the hilly course in France made it comparable with the route in Brazil. By winning the mountain stage to Andorra, he proved that he was on track and today he confirmed his status as the favourite by claiming a dominant victory in the Tour time trial.

 

Dumoulin started in the middle of the field and showed his strength right from the beginning, powering up the first climb in a time that was 10 seconds better than leader Nelson Oliveira. From there, he extended his lead at every time check. He was 56 seconds better at the final check and when he reached the finish, he had beaten the Portuguese by a massive 1.31.

 

At that point, Martin, Dennis and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) had already done their time trials and they were not even close to the Dutchman. Hence, it was clear that only Froome and Richie Porte (BMC) could realistically challenge the Giant-Alpecin specialist.

 

Porte was close at the first check, crossing the line in a time that was 10 seconds off the mark but then faded dramatically to end the stage in 21st, a massive 3.08 behind Dumoulin. When Froome reached the first time check in sixth place, it was evident that he was not going to be a threat and when he was only fifth at the second check, Dumoulin could slowly start to celebrate.

 

However, Froome was still the other big winner of the day. The Brit finished extremely strongly and only Dumoulin was better than him in the second half. The Brit finished second on the stage, a massive 1.03 off Dumoulin’s time but 28 seconds better than Oliveira who was  a surprise third.

 

The result meant that Froome gained time on all his key rivals, most notably on Nairo Quintana who lost 2.05 to the Brit. Instead, it was Bauke Mollema who emerged as his biggest threat, with the Dutchman doing the TT of his life to finish sixth. He still lost 51 seconds to Froome but he moved into second overall, 1.47 behind Froome. Quintana is still fourth but he is now 2.59 behind the leader.

 

Another big winner was Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) who was a surprise 17th and so remains on the podium In third spot, 2.45 behind Froome. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was another winner as he finished 15th and he is now just 18 seconds behind Quintana in fifth place.

 

BMC had hoped to gain time with both Porte and Tejay van Garderen but they had a disappointing day. Van Garderen was 16th and Porte 21st and even though they are now 6th and 8th respectivelu, the outcome was not what they had expected.

 

As forecasted, climbers Fabio Aru, Daniel Martin, Romain Bardet and Joaquim Rodriguez all lost a lot of time and they are now all more than four minutes behind Froome, with Rodriguez even slipping to 13th overall.

 

Froome and the GC riders now hope for an easier day tomorrow when the riders face the final flat stage before Paris. There are only three small category 4 climbs in the first half and from there it is almost completely flat, meaning that a bunch sprint is the expected outcome.

 

A hilly course

After yesterday’s big mountain stage, it was time for another big test for the GC riders in the first time trial of the race. The riders tackled 37.5km between Bourg-Saint-Andeol and La Caverne du Pont d’Arc and they were by no means flat. Right from the start the riders tackled a 6.9km climb and then a flat section suited the specialists. Finally, there was a technical descent and then a 3.3km climb to the finish.

 

It was sunny but extremely windy when Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) rolled down the ramp as the first rider at 10.05 local time. The Irishman stopped the clock in 58.55 to take the early lead but it was Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r) who got the early attention. The powerful Frenchman was crushing the opposition at every time check and reached the finish in 54.37 to move into the hot seat.

 

Bodnar takes the lead

Albert Timmer (Giant-Alpecin) briefly slotted into second before he was beaten by Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Soudal). Ian Stannard (Sky) posted the third best time but it was Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) who was the first threat to Gougeard. However, 55.28 was only good enough for second.

 

Robert Wagner (LottoNL-Jumbo) moved into fourth before Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) made the podium with the third best time. However, it was Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff) that everybody waited for and the Polish champion lived up to expectations as he stopped the clock in 52.47 to take the lead by more than two minutes,

 

Dennis beats Bodnar

Brent Bookwalter (BMC) slotted into fourth but was quickly beaten by Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) who did a surprisingly good time trial to finish just outside the top 3. Imanol Erviti (Movistar) then reached the top 5 but it was Dennis who would be the first threat for Bodnar. The Australian powered strongly through every time check before stopping the clock in 51.56 to beat Bodnar by 51 seconds.

 

Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) made it into the top 10 as did Jerome Cousin (Cofidis) and Michael Albasini (Orica-BikeExchange). Edward Theuns (Trek) was blown off the course and had to leave the race in an ambulance.

 

Cummings gets close

World champion Vasil Kiryienka (Sky took it easy and instead Steven Cummings (Dimension Data) was the first threat for Dennis. The Brit did well but he missed out on the lead by 43 seconds, slotting into second place.

 

Reto Hollenstein (IAM) could only just make it into the top 10, just like Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) so the attention soon turned to Cancellara. However, his time of 53.30 was only good enough for third.

 

Best time for Oliveira

At this point, it was already clear that Oliveira was flying and many were surprised to see the Portuguese beat Dennis by 10 seconds. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) was his first threat but 52.49 was only good enough for fifth.

 

Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) was the next specialist to hit the course but he had to settle for fourth with 52.46. Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) did a surprisingly good time trial to slot into ninth, but it was Jerome Coppel (IAM) that everybody was waiting for. Having been a little behind at the first check, the Frenchman was 2 seconds faster than Oliveira at the second check. However, he lost ground on the final climb and crossed the line in a time that was four seconds slower than the Portuguese champion’s.

 

Good ride by Durbridge

Luke Durbridge (Orica-BikeExchange) did a solid time trial as he posted the 8th best time before Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) confirmed his good form by taking 10th. Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) rode well at every time check and crossed the line in the 11th best time.

 

Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) posted some fast time checks but apparently he cracked on the final climb as he finished outside the top 20. Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) did better as he posted the 15th best time

 

Izagirre in the top 4

Ion Izagirre (Movistar) was expected to be the next threat for Oliveira but the Basque was unable to match his teammate. Stopping the clock in 52.17, he had to settle four fourth, 31 seconds behind the Portuguese

 

Anthony Roux (FDJ) narrowly missed out on the top 10 as he slotted into 11th. His compatriot Romain Sicard (Direct Energie) started extremely fast as he was fastest at the second check but he faded dramatically and had to settle for 13th.

 

Dumoulin crushes the opposition

Jeremy Roy (FDJ) continued the solid FDJ showing by taking 14th and Martin Elmiger (IAM) also cracked the top 20 with a the 18th best time. However, it was first Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) that caught all the attention. The former world champion was off the pace at all the time checks and had a disappointing ride as he could only manage 5th with 52.20.

 

Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Ruben Plaza (Orica-BikeExchange) both made it into the top 20 with 18th and 13th respectively. They were completely overshadowed by Dumoulin who crushed the opposition at every time check before stopping the clock in 50.15 to beat Oliveira by a massive 1.31.

 

Clement narrowly misses the top 10

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) showed that he was not too tired from yesterday’s effort as he posted 18th best time. One of his companions from yesterday’s break, Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), was slightly better in 17th and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) confirmed that his form is on the rise as the slotted into 14th.

 

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) showed that he is ready to show himself in the Alps by posting a time of 53.22 which was good enough for 12th. Stef Clement (IAM) started extremely well as he was third at the first time check but he had to settle for a provisional 11th place.

 

Difficult day for Barguil

Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) suffered from his injuries and could only manage 29th and Tanel Kangert (Astana) also had a poor ride with 45th. Instead, it was Geraint Thomas who proved that Sky have more cards to play in the GC battle as he did an excellent time trial to slot into fifth.

 

Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) had a difficult day and could only manage 55.13. Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff) did much better to take 15th with 53.28 while Sergio Henao also suffered to cross the line in 55.07.

 

Disappointment for Porte

Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) did a surprisingly good TT to take 26th in 54.37 before a disappointed Porte crossed the line in 15th, 2.08 behind Dumoulin. Rodriguez lost a lot of time on the final climb and his time of 55.01 was not even good enough for the top 30.

 

Martin did a fine time trial with 54.25 and Aru was just 15 seconds slower. Van Garderen seemed to be on track for a great performance but  a bad ride up the final climb saw him cross the line in 13th with a time that was 18 seconds better than Porte’s

 

Froome takes second

Valverde sprinted up the final climb to slot into 13th before Bardet reached the finish in 25th with 54.07. He had barely arrived before Mollema was in sight and the Dutchman did a great TT to take fifth with52.09.

 

Quintana finished strongly but 53.23 was only good enough for 18th. Yates was seven seconds better to take 16th before Froome confirmed his status by taking second with 51.18.

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