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"I think I am - I cannot deny that [I am the favourite for Rio] after today. But I know that doing a TT after 12 days in the Tour de France against a lot of guys who are suffering every day - I'm not suffering every day - is very d...

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15.07.2016 @ 23:23 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.

 

We have gathered several reactions.

 

Tom Dumoulin: I can’t deny that I am the favourite for Rio

Stage 13 of the Tour de France was an individual time trial of 37.5km from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc. Dumoulin was the fastest on the tough parcours, with a time of 50’15” and an average pace of around 44.7km/h.

 

Tom Dumoulin said:

 

“It’s a day of two halves. I’m very happy with the win but my thoughts go out to everyone affected by the horrific attack in Nice. This morning we woke up to the terrible news and I had to get into my zone and focus on the time trial. It is terrible what happened today and it shadows the day a lot. I think we cannot let terrorists decide our lives in our society.

 

"This morning I woke up with the terrible news from Nice, and it was a big question if the team would start. I think it was a good decision [to start], in general, these terrorists cannot decide our lives. I think it's good that we showed that we are the modern world and we don't say yes to these attacks.

 

"It was a just question whether we should race or not today. In the end, it was a just decision to race because we can't let terrorists rule our lives in our society. It's terrible what happened and overshadows the day a lot. So you're speaking to a man with two sides to his face today. Of course I'm happy with the win, but at the same time my thoughts are with everyone involved in the horrific attacks in Nice.

 

"This stage was my big goal before the Tour de France. My focus got a little bit…I went a bit out of focus this morning. That's normal I guess when you hear about these terrible things happening just a few hundred kilometres away from you. Just two hours before the start I thought ‘OK, we're racing anyway, I'm just going for it'.

 

"I went for it and it was a very, very good TT, but to win with more than a minute on Froome and anyone else was something I didn't expect. It gives me a lot of confidence.

 

"It was quite dangerous – I followed John Degenkolb in the car behind and I knew there was a moment in the race that was very dangerous. I also had some troubles there – I went from the right-hand side of the road completely to the left, but could hold it.

 

"Aside from that moment, it was windy and dangerous all the time. On the very fast descent I heard it was 110km in the car's meter. It was dangerous, but I always kept my concentration.

 

“During the recon which I did behind John [Degenkolb] in the team car I noticed there were a couple of tricky moments with the cross winds so I was well prepared and aware of it. Therefore we decided to race with a normal front wheel.

 

“Throughout the course anyway the wind was very dangerous and very hard to cope with. In the final run in there was one dangerous moment where I almost went off the road.

 

"If you want to win you have to take risks. The wind was difficult and hard to cope with, I could have ridden with a three-spoke, one moment was tricky and I almost went off the road, but in general it was a smooth ride.

 

“I was relaxed, I knew I had done a very good time trial anyway, I could not wait. When I saw Froome's first intermediate time, which was already slower than mine, I knew it would be very difficult for him to be faster than me. My second part was also very good so I was quite confident quite early.

 

“This was a very good time trial. There was one rider I feared, Chris Froome, but fortunately I got him.

 

“Overall it was a very good time trial and it shows that I am in good shape at the moment. During the last two days I was not feeling so well, but today I had good legs. I was able to enjoy the ride today and I was able to concentrate on my performance. I know I can pick my days during the Tour and go for a good result, and today’s victory gives me a lot of confidence.

 

"I think I am – I cannot deny that [I am the favourite for Rio] after today. But I know that doing a TT after 12 days in the Tour de France against a lot of guys who are suffering every day – I'm not suffering every day – is very different to shining in a one-day event.

 

“This was not a dress rehearsal. Last year I also won a time trial in the Vuelta with a minute but two weeks later at the World Championships in Richmond I was bad. My condition is good, very good, and I want to maintain this form. I ride with confidence and I want to feel good in Rio. Will I finish the Tour? That is the intention,  at least if I do not get sick or crash but normally I will ride to Paris.

 

"There are still almost four weeks until the Rio, and a lot can happen shape-wise in that time. It's up to me to maintain my exceptional shape, and that means I won't go full gas every day – I'll keep picking my days and hopefully it will pay off in Rio, again.

 

“I've often said that I will focus on riding Grand Tours for GC but I just can't tell when. I'm aware that winning a time trial by a margin of one minute isn't possible for someone who rides full gas for GC every day.”

 

Coach Marc Reef added:

 

“This is super and we are really pleased. Everything went perfectly today just like we planned. We are proud of the performance of Tom and of the whole team. We were feeling positive about today and with new aerosuit we proved that challenging the tiny margins are worth it. Tom checked it one time in the car upfront with John [Degenkolb], especially how John would cope in the wind because we knew the wind was pretty strong.

 

“From the moment he started you could see that Tom had power in his legs and he was ready for it. Throughout the time trial, he remained very concentrated in his effort and did a very good performance. On the intermediate points, he already had a gap over his competitors, and then he just continued and kept on pushing until the finish line. Tom has shown today he is an incredible talent.”

 

Team Sky and Chris Froome still fear Nairo Quintana and keep an eye on Bauke Mollema

Chris Froome put in an emphatic performance across the stage 13 time trial to come home second and significantly extend his Tour de France race lead.

 

The Brit clocked a time of 51 minutes and 18 seconds over an undulating and blustery course, putting significant time into all his major general classification rivals along the way.

 

Pushing his yellow jersey advantage out to one minute and 47 seconds, Froome's performance looked better and better through each split on the run into La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc.

 

There was no stopping Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) on the day, with the Dutchman going 1:03 quicker than Froome to wrap up a resounding victory and his second stage win of the race.

 

For Froome it was all about the general classification and the Team Sky rider was able to put 2:05 into Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and 1:58 into Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange). Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) went sixth quickest to jump up to second overall, while Geraint Thomas put in a strong ride to take seventh on the day.

 

Sergio Henao dug deep on the TT bike and now sits 14th overall (+6:25), one place ahead of Thomas (+6:48) heading into the weekend.

 

After climbing off the bike Froome admitted his thoughts were elsewhere following Thursday evening's tragic events in Nice.

 

He said:

 

"This is definitely a time for people to stand together. It puts things into perspective for us here at the race.  I'm happy with how it went on the bike, but the atmosphere here, and everyone's thoughts here are with those affected down in Nice. It's a special place for me, near to where I'm based, and I just can't imagine what those people are going through down there.

 

“I gave my everything today but, it's too sad. It's the strangest moment of my career. It's difficult to talk about today's stage. With what is happening in France, it gives a different perspective about the race. My thoughts go with all the families in Nice and those affected. I do a lot of training on those roads. To see the Promenade with all the dead bodies and the horrific scenes is devastating. I express my deepest sympathy and my condolences to those who lost their loved ones.”

 

“Everyone’s thoughts are with those affected down in Nice. It’s difficult for us to even be here talking about the race when all of that was happening down in Nice, somewhere that’s pretty close to home for me. I do a lot of training on those roads.

 

 

 

“Today was sport but that was real life last night. It was good to show our solidarity with the French public today.”

 

Geraint Thomas: This was good TT practice

After his top-10 ride Thomas admitted the stage had been tough going, adding:

 

"I paced it alright I think, it's just that real fight at the end, when you've got tired legs anyway, it's tough going.

 

“I wanted to go and give it a good trot. It's always good to try and ride them well, as well as getting a good result and pace it properly. It's all good practice.

 

”It was bumpy at times, gusty winds, but with the wheels I had in it was ok. That sort of effort for that distance in this position you rarely do, so it's good to give it a go."

 

On the attack near his training base in Nice he added: "It certainly was on my mind this morning when I woke up. It's so sad. Terrible really, things like that shouldn't happen. I can't believe that's the world we live in today, and it puts bike racing into perspective really. My thoughts go out to everyone affected by it."

 

Sports director Nicolas Portal told Eurosport:

 

“It’s been great. Firstly for the result because we knew that we had a good chance to put time into the GC contenders. When you have that chance you have to get it right on the day. We’ve been focused on today and I’ve looked at the times on my phone. Chris put 40 seconds into Mollema and he was super great yesterday. He also put around two minutes into Quintana and that’s great. On paper the gaps might be big but we’re never happy and we always want more.

 

“I was thinking that with the crash of yesterday could cost him, it was small and sometimes with high-level athletes you can pay.

 

“Two minutes into Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde is great. Mollema is pretty good because he was super strong yesterday on Mont Ventoux. He’s the closest, he’s showing strong and stronger. He’s one of the guys we are going to look at now, more than before. We don’t rule out anyone.”

 

“We’ve taken an advantage but it’s clear that the Tour isn’t over just yet. Chris has done a super TT today, he’s gained time on all of his rivals and that’s perfect for us, but we know that Nairo is always good in the final week,” he told Cyclingnews

 

“I wouldn’t say that Mollema’s the principal rival but it’s clear that he’s in great condition. He could be up there for the podium because he was very good on Mont Ventoux and he did a super time trial today. We’re still thinking about Nairo because he’s still up there, but it’s true that Mollema has been a revelation.”

 

Nairo Quintana: With my body, it was clear I would suffer in the wind

Chris Froome (SKY) hit hard and took a huge step forward in his 2016 Tour de France winning aspirations by finishing second in the longest TT of the race. Friday’s 37.5km route between Bourg-Saint-Andéol and La Caverne-Pont-d’Arc included gusty winds, two heavy uphill stretches, the opening 7km and the run-in to the finish, and dangerous downhill sections. In such a scene, the Movistar Team got through the day with all energy they could bring to the fore, even shining with three of their members: Nelson Oliveira, Ion Izagirre, 8th, in his first TT in nat-champ colours, and Alejandro Valverde.

 

Oliveira led the classification for more than two hours after an impressive effort. He built his 51’46” time at the end over a fantastic first stint, he was 3rd of all riders after 7km, only behind stage winner Dumoulin (TGA) and Richie Porte (BMC), and held big rivals like Martin (EQS), Cancellara (TFS), Coppel (IAM) and Dennis (BMC) behind through the rest of the course before Dumoulin clocked the best time.

 

In turn, Valverde, the man always helping out Nairo Quintana, coming into this TDF with no pressure following his Giro podium finish, bested the likes of Van Garderen, Porte (BMC) and Adam Yates (OBE), among other top-ten contenders. The man from Murcia crossed the line just 54” short of Bauke Mollema (TFS), whose brilliant TT took him into 2nd overall. He was 15th in the day and now sits fifth overall (+3’17”), even virtually riding to fourth in sections of the TT, ahead of his team leader Nairo Quintana.

 

The Colombian now ranks 4th, 2’59” behind Froome, after he trailed considerably in the opening phase. Even though he compensated that with a strong final climb, he lost two minutes to the yellow jersey and 20” to Valverde, the Blues’ GC duo now on the verge of podium - Quintana is 14” off Yates’ pace, Valverde at 32” - with five mountain stages to go.

 

Saturday will bring a break or maybe the last or penultimate bunch sprint before Paris, as the route is arguably the least hard of what's left until the end of the race: 208.5km with no big climbs, finishing at the Parc des Oiseaux in Villars-les-Dombes.

 

Nairo Quintana said:

 

“I gave everything that was inside me. The wind was blowing so hard in the beginning that it seemed logical that, with my weight and body form, I would be losing more time to the other GC guys. In the finale, my legs responded better and I got back some time. I kept jush pushing on full steam, all the time, but it was just that I responded better in the second half of the TT; the gusts really hit me in the beginning.

 

“I’m trailing by quite a bit in the overall, but I hope that my legs will get better. There are still a lot of mountains to come and I hope I can recover some. 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 everyhting we can."

 

Alejandro Valverde: I showed how much I have improved

Alejandro Valverde said:

 

“We did as much as we could today. I think I fared well today; obviously, it was nowhere near to Dumoulin’s fantastic performance, but I kept the same line of the main GC contenders but Froome and Mollema. We’re still committed to the work we were supposed to do in this Tour de France.

 

“I feel satisfied: I showed again that I’ve improved in the TTs and got used to the new Canyon pretty easily - there’s nothing I can complain about today, just hope for Nairo to finish this off well.

 

"We did a good time trial. It was 37 very hard kilometres, but I am satisfied. We accomplished the goal that we have been looking for. Ultimately, I have improved a bit. Every time I do it, I feel more comfortable."

 

Jerome Coppel rediscovers his good legs in Tour time trial

Jérôme Coppel took a very strong 4th place in the first individual time trial of the 2016 Tour de France.

 

“After a difficult first week, I found some good feelings again. I gave everything I had to achieve the best time I possibly could at the finish line, knowing that surely others would be faster. I was just missing four seconds for the podium. It’s infuriating, but I enjoyed myself even if the circumstances were far from happy ones in view of the tragedy of last night’s events. Now that the Alps are coming, and my family and fans are here to support me, I hope to be very much in evidence in the coming stages.”

 

A minute of silence was taken at the start of the stage and then again during, or rather in lieu of the awards ceremony in tribute of the victims of the massacre that hit Nice on the Promenade des Anglais Thursday night.

 

“I gave everything, thinking of the victims in Nice,” said Stef Clement, who took 14th in today’s time trial. “It was not easy to concentrate, but France, the Tour de France, and we riders all had to show the perpetrators of vile acts like this that nothing will stop us.”

 

Manager Rik Verbrugghe said:

 

“Jérôme Coppel missed just a little something to be on the podium. But his performance is encouraging for the future, just like Stef Clement’s escape on his way to fourth at Chalet Reynard. The only downside is that Mathias Frank has been suffering quite a lot for several days.”

 

Richie Porte suffers from motorbike crach in Tour time trial

The first time trial of the Tour de France saw Rohan Dennis finish in fifth place and Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte both move into the top ten on the General Classification after finishing 16th and 21st respectively.

 

The already technical 37.5 kilometer course was made even more difficult by strong winds that played a big role in determining finish times. Dennis set the provisional best time early in the day and was in the hot seat, before being overtaken by a handful of riders including eventual winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant Alpecin).

 

Van Garderen and Porte were some of the last riders to leave the start ramp, finishing 2’50” and 3’08” back from Dumoulin. The General Classification standings going into stage 14 see van Garderen sitting in sixth place, 3’19” back from race leader Chris Froome (Team SKY), and Porte in eighth place, 4’27” behind.

 

Richie Porte said:

 

“It was such a hard time trial. You couldn’t really hear anything on the radio so I was just riding off feel. It was so windy out there, I’m not really sure of my times or anything. I wasn’t really happy with my sensations, it hurt a lot. Yesterday with the motorbike doesn’t really help much either.

 

”We’ll see how the other GC guys fare; I think that the battle was never against the big time trialists. There’s still a few guys to come in so we’ll see how it was from that. I’m a little bit sore from yesterday. It’s quite disappointing to be honest. But I’m sure the race is not over yet.

 

Tejay van Garderen: My time trial was average

Tejay van Garderen said:

 

”My time trial was about average. It wasn’t one of the best ones I’ve ever had but the Tour de France is about consistency so I’ll just keep chipping away. Hopefully throughout the third week if I can move up a couple of more places then we’ll be sitting in a good place in Paris.”

 

Rohan Dennis: I almost called it quits

Rohan Dennis said:

 

“After 3 or 4 kilometers I almost called it quits. I thought that today was not my bad so I’ll just drop the power a little bit and get over the climb and try to settle in. I felt a lot better in the second half.

 

“I might be the fastest now but a lot of the guys before me were taking today as more of a rest day. I think it was a pretty challenging course amd mid-way through a Grand Tour makes it even harder as well.

 

“We’ll have to see how the GC guys go. Generally at a Grand Tour the time trial specialists aren’t always the favorite. If there was less wind then I would say that the GC guys would be really strong today but generally the GC guys are a bit smaller and even myself being a little heavier than the climbers, I was still getting pushed around a bit.”

 

Greg Van Avermaet: It was a dangerous time trial

"I found it quite a dangerous time trial," Greg Van Avermaet told Het Nieuwsblad. "I did have a little scare on the road and did not go full gas.

 

"It was a really difficult course, quite technical, also due to the wind, which made it too dangerous. I have not taken risks in the descent and set an ordinary pace. The most important was to be safe. I opted for safety in the TT.”

 

Bauke Mollema: It was the best time trial of my life

In an interview after stage 12, Bauke Mollema said he was looking forward to the stage 13 time trial after rigorous preparations for the race against the clock that included training on the grueling 37.5-kilometer course. For someone not known for his time trial prowess, it was a bold statement. But he wasn't kidding.

 

Friday the lanky Dutchman put his specific preparations to the test and rode the best time trial of his career to better all his GC rivals but one, and launch him into second place overall behind Chris Froome (Sky).

 

"No doubt, it was the best time trial of my life," exclaimed Mollema. "I was well prepared, and I knew the course very well as I had done recon on it. I trained a lot on my TT bike, and I also had a lighter bike specifically for today."

 

The 37.5-kilometer test against the clock began and ended with climbs, and gusty winds blustered the riders the entire distance. Mollema set a quick pace at the first intermediate time check and never relented his pace over the succeeding checkpoints. Instead, he continued to build a margin over his rivals with only Froome posting faster times.

 

 

"I was quite happy with the wind because I'm a little bit heavier than some of the other GC guys, and I'm used to riding in the wind – where I live in Holland it's always windy, so it was an advantage for me that it was windy like this,” continued Mollema. "It was dangerous at some points, but overall it was fine. It was a really hard time trial: the start was uphill, and the last 3kms were uphill, so you needed extra power there. At the bottom of the last climb, I took a bit of a breather and then went full gas to the top.

 

"I had a really great day. I knew I could do a good TT today - I was well prepped and knew what to expect. I’d done a lot of training on TT bike last month, a lot of it uphill. I just gave everything. With the legs I've had the past days I was confident I could do a great TT, and I did.

 

"It was quite difficult. It was a hectic evening, lots of reactions, and I couldn't really fall asleep well, but I have that often that I don't sleep so well at the Tour. This morning I think I slept for around 45 minutes, just two hours before my TT so I was relaxed and that was a good sign – I think I had calmed down, I did the recon this morning, and was really focused."

 

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) won the stage 13 'race of truth' handily, winning by over a minute in a time of 50:15.

 

Froome finished second (+1:03) and padded his lead in yellow, while Mollema was the clearly the best of the rest of the GC contenders, finishing in 6th place (+1:54) to move solidly into second overall, ahead of Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange).

 

"That's great, I have gained quite a bit of time on the riders who are now behind me in the standings.

 

"It's a big gap with Froome, and I am just happy where I am right now," answered Mollema when asked whether he could eventually overtake Froome. "There is still a long way to go; I feel good. I am confident that I can keep this place.

 

"It was just a really good day. I feel good and have more experience now than a few years ago. So I have to believe that I can hold on to second place.

 

"I was really looking forward to today. I knew I could do a good time trial and I had prepared well. It is nice that it comes together.”

 

 

"Revenge is not the right word. But I was very focused on doing a good time trial. Even without what happened yesterday, I knew that it would be good. I have a lot of confidence. This was a great day."

 

Edward Theuns fractures vertebra.

Edward Theuns crashed while navigating a high speed decent during the time trial, sustaining a compressed fracture of the T12 vertebra. Further tests revealed the compression fracture unstable and Theuns will undergo surgery, the date and place still to be determined. The fractured bone requires stabilization through surgery due to the high risk for neurological complications.

 

Theuns said:

 

"I feel very disappointed because I was feeling good and was going okay and now suddenly everything comes to a stop. The pain is not bad, but I am tensed to not move my body and its very uncomfortable. I am nervous about the operation.

 

"I was feeling good in the TT, having a good tempo, and my legs felt good. I was planning to ease back more at the end, because I had made a good tempo until then. I came into a downhill corner at around kilometer 23 and the wind grab my wheel and I had to correct a little and went off the road. I thought I had it but then hit a tree and went over my bike and landed quite hard on the ground. I directly felt that my back was not okay."

 

Fabian Cancellara: I did the maximum I could

Fabian Cancellara told Eurosport:

 

"It was like the other days, it was hard. I worked a lot in the last few days for the team for Bauke in the wind, but I did the maximum I could all the same today. I’ll try to recover for tomorrow, there’ll be a lot of wind again.

 

“It’s a very special time trial because you start with climb straightaway. You don’t usually have a 7k climb in a TT. Then with the wind after the climb it’s tough. There are technical parts too but the wind is the more difficult aspect. The most important thing is to have the legs."

 

Tony Martin: There are no excuses

For Etixx – Quick-Step, it was a day in which the focus was on the two Martin riders of the squad, Tony and Dan. The 31-year-old German, a six-time winner of the ITT national title and triple World Champion of the discipline, was among the ones rated as having a chance at a top result on Friday afternoon, but even though he left it all on the road, he had to be satisfied with a 9th place in the end, thus paying for the huge effort of the past days, when he helped the team control the breakway and stay safe in the crosswinds.

 

"To be honest, I felt pretty tired after yesterday and the wind was very strong out on the course, making everything more dangerous, in particular on the downhill. I'm not looking for any excuses, just for some reasons so I can make a better analysis of my ride and of the result I got. After two weeks in the race, every power output counts and I suffered today on some parts of the parcours", said Tony Martin, winner of five Tour de France stages, three of which came in time trials.

 

Daniel Martin: My motto was safety first

Dan Martin, 9th in the standings after the Mont Ventoux stage, kept his place following the tough test against the clock, during which he decided to not take any risks, especially after getting news of a crash in which teammate Julian Alaphilippe was involved, fortunately without any serious consequences, just some bruises on his hand and back:

 

"Safety first, that was my motto today. After hearing that Julian hit the ground, I went with a normal wheel instead of a disc one, at the cost of losing some seconds. Today, the wind definitely didn't favour the light guys, so considering this and the fact that I focused more on my climbing this year, I'm happy with this result. My goal is to make it into the mountains in one piece and healthy, because my legs are good and I'm confident.

 

“I was getting blown around all over the place and we decided to. I was never going to win the time trial so safety first and zero risks. I didn’t take the disc wheel because we wanted to avoid crashing basically. I don’t really know how I did, I think I was only a minute down on Richie.

 

“To be honest I’ve not ridden my time trial bike this year, it has all been about climbing and the TT was an afterthought so I’m pretty happy with that.”

 

Steve Cummings confirms form with top 10 in Tour time trial

For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, the stage was one which Steve Cummings and Edvald Boasson Hagen would give a good crack while the other riders not typically suited to a time trial, saved their legs for the expected sprint stage tomorrow. Cummings, as one of the earlier starters posted some really good intermediate times, swapping between 1st and 2nd position with Rohan Dennis (BMC) at the 3 time checks. At the finish line though, Cummings stopped the clock in a time of 52’40”, the 2nd best time at that point in the day.

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen was also on a flyer, slotting into the top 5 positions at the intermediate time checks during his effort. The bumpy nature of the road surface saw the Norwegian champion drop his chain on a few occasions, losing a precious few seconds here and there to eventually finish in a time of 52’49”. Dumoulin, the overall stage favourite came in not too long after Boasson Hagen and set an incredibly fast time of 50’15”.

 

Nobody would come close to the time of the Dutch champion, Froome being the nearest just over a minute down. Cummings time was able hold strong against most of the GC favourites to ensure he finished in 10th position and Boasson Hagen placed 13th. A good day for the African Team made better by the fact that it was the first day of their Qhubeka5000 challenge, where a number of fans around the world rode the same 37km distance our riders had to face today.

 

Steve Cummings said:

 

”It was a bit of a tricky time trial course because of the strong winds that blew throughout the day. Time trial bikes aren’t the biggest fans of super strong crosswinds. Starting early, my plan was just to give it my 100% and that is what I did.”

 

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg said:

 

”It was really windy out there so we just tried to get through it and save as much as we could. Tomorrow is a big day for us with Cavendish and a sprint again so we were focused on just being safe and using the stage to recover as much as possible. Tomorrow is a big day.”

 

Emanuel Buchmann limits his losses in Tour de France TT

Sam Bennett, the sprinter from Bora-Argon 18 was the first rider to roll down the start-ramp in Bourg-Saint Andéol.

 

“It was very windy today, on the first climb it was tailwind, then heavy crosswind. The descent was extremely fast. With the time trial bike I reached more than 90 km/h. I was equipped with a rear disc wheel and in the front it was a normal wheel with a height of 40mm. This combination was the best for me,” Sam Bennett said.

 

The TT-specialist from Bora-Argon 18, Jan Bárta, started at 12:48pm. He showed his qualities and at the first intermediate time he was in 17th place with the same time as Fabian Cancellara. He was able to improve significantly during the race and finished 11th with a gap of +2’31’’.

 

Also for Emanuel Buchmann it was a good day. He finished 56th with a gap of + 5’32’’ and he moved to 20th place in the GC.

 

“Today it was extremely difficult to ride because of the strong wind. You had to be focussed all the time to stay on your bike, a really heavy time trial. For me the course was better than a completely flat time trial, but it was also difficult to find the rhythm. Right from the beginning the course went uphill and then it was so strong wind on the descent. Today it was a good day for me, but I did even not everything and could save energy for the upcoming mountain stages,” Emanuel Buchmann said.

 

Maciej Bodnar: It was a good ride on a course that didn’t suit me

Making his first appearance in the Polish national time trial champion’s colours, Maciej Bodnar held the hot seat during the morning, eventually finishing the day just outside the top ten in 12th spot, while Roman Kreuziger pushed hard to rise up to 11th from 14th in the GC standings.

 

 Tinkoff sport Director, Steven De Jongh, saw just how tough the stage was from the team car.

 

"The course was tough with the wind out there. It was even hard for the riders to keep control of the bike at times. The first climb started off in a head wind and then they had some cross winds and then another tough headwind stretch later on so you had to keep on top of it all the time."

 

Completing the course in 52’47”, Maciej Bodnar set the fastest time early on in the day. He was wearing his Polish national time trial champion skinsuit for the first time and did both the Tinkoff and Polish colours proud, taking the hot seat, and held a top ten for much of the day before eventually finishing 12th.

 

The fastest Tinkoff rider of the day, Bodnar was pleased with how the day turned out – particularly on the lengthy course.

 

"It was a long and tough time-trial but I'm pleased with my performance and form, given the fact its profile didn't suit me. It was a race that favoured the climbers. With riders being spaced every two minutes, it was a long day and I started earlier in the morning. Yesterday, we also had a long day and a long transfer, which meant I had less time to recover than the riders that started later. The stage started with a 7km climb in which I chose not to go to my maximum potential as I wanted to be sure I would have the force to go faster in the second part. That's why I was able to recover part of the time I lost to the top competitors."

 

After a tough day yesterday, where racing was hazardous and the end of the stage slow due to crashes, finishing with a time of 53’28” Roman Kreuziger’s 22nd position moves him back up the GC standings to 11th from 14th. He performed well on a stage that suited his riding style, where some of his rivals in the GC race lost time.

 

Kreuziger found the course tougher on his run, owing to the strong winds throughout the day, as De Jongh explained.

 

"Roman did a really good time trial, as did Bodi who started earlier and set a good benchmark. I think that earlier today there was a little bit less wind, and when Roman was riding there was a lot more so that made it hard. If you look at his main opponents, he passed some of those around him and took back some time on GC so he can be happy with his TT. All the other guys finished safely without any problems.”

 

After the moment's silence held by all of the riders following the stage, Peter Sagan commented on the situation:

 

"For us it was like a normal day as we are at the Tour de France, but it is very sad for the people that were involved. I don’t know what to think of it. We have to respect the people who died in Nice.

 

“I'm fortunate that nobody in my family was in Nice last night, we live in Monaco and it's very near. At least I'm happy that we, at the Tour de France, have showed some respect for the people who died. It'll remain in our heads.”

 

Tomorrow’s stage is long, with an undulating profile, but a flat finish to the 208.5km stage should suit Peter Sagan, who remains in the green jersey after today’s stage. Stage 14 is hilly, crossing three fourth category climbs, with some punchy ascents throughout the day. With his rivals tired out by the terrain, some of the all-rounders may well push for the win here. After the UCI World Champion’s stage-stealing performance at the end of stage 11, who knows what could happen? De Jongh saw that this would be a hard stage.

 

"Tomorrow we have a long stage, 208km all headwind - it could be a long day in the office for the guys."

 

Satisfied Adam Yates: Everybody knows that I am not a good time triallist

Briton Adam Yates produced a fantastic ride for Orica-BikeExchange in the individual time trial on stage 13 of the Tour de France today, moving into third place on the general classification and retaining the lead of the best young rider category.

 

Yates finished three minutes down on the stage winner after brilliantly overcoming the challenging course in what is not the Orica-BikeExchange rider’s favourite pursuit.

 

Extending his lead in the best young riders classification and moving into third place overall behind race leader Froome and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) now in second, Yates is 58seconds behind the Trek rider going into tomorrow's stage 14.

 

“The time trial is not my speciality and I think out of everyone here I’m probably one of the weakest,” said Yates at the finish. “I gave it my absolute maximum out there and I think I did an ok job to finish with the time I got, I did my best so that’s all I can do.

 

“This is all part of a great experience because I haven’t been in this position before so we keep approaching the race day by day and I’m learning something new every day.

 

“Myself and the team will keep on trying our best for the rest of the race and now we all need to recover before tomorrow’s stage.

 

"It's still hard to say, there's still a week to go. You can have a bad day and lose minutes so we'll just try to do the max every day and if it works then it does and if it doesn't then no pressure, no stress. Every day we're learning.

 

"The position we're in now, we just have to keep fighting. We have a week to go and on every stage if there is a chance to take some seconds back then I'll try to do it. Hopefully, everything goes OK, the form and the sensations have been good so we'll fight all the way to Paris."

 

"Today, it went OK. Everyone knows that I'm not great at time trialling, so I lost some time. Considering how small I am and good I am at time trialling, I didn't lose too much. I'm happy with what I did.

 

“It's probably one of the longest time trials that I've done. On both the climbing sections, I felt strong; I had the power. It was just the cross winds sections and the flat where I suffered quite a lot. We did the max, we came out OK, and we're here to fight another day.

 

“I've ridden 50 minutes flat out. I'm still on the podium, that's where I wanted to be after the TT. Every day we keep fighting, then whatever happens happens.

 

"It's a horrible situation what happened [in Nice], and prayers and wishes go out to everyone affected.”

 

Sport Director Matt White praised the performance and attitude of 23-Year old Yates.

 

“Adam (Yates) would probably admit that he rode the best time trial of his life out there today,” said White.

 

“He produced a strong performance on what was a difficult course, seven kilometre climb at the start then a windy plateau before the drag up to the finish.

 

“This is new territory now for Adam, third overall going into the final week of a grand tour and so far so good, he should be very proud of the way he has ridden so far.

 

“We will be concentrating on looking after Adam over the next couple of stages, keeping in him in good positions and trying to lay low and recover.”

 

Joaquim Rodriguez: With my 58kg, it was dangerous

The first individual time trial was finally contested in stage 13 on Friday for the 103rd Tour de France with the best Team KATUSHA result coming from Ilnur Zakarin who cracked the top 20 with a nineteenth place (+3.07). It wasn’t a perfect day for leader Joaquim Rodriguez, but the Spanish rider looks to the last week of racing in the French Alps as a place he will find more success.

 

“Honestly it was difficult for me on the bike today. I suffered in the wind. On the flat and the descent it was hard for me to put power on the pedals. My force went to keep equilibrium. This was the third day with wind and that’s not to my advantage. With my 58 kilos, it was dangerous,” said team leader Joaquim Rodriguez.

 

“Purito is no TT specialist and a light rider but the course was good for him and he felt good. He lost time on some riders and gained on some others. He ended up 40-seconds away from top ten. So all is possible. Plus because of his time difference with Froome there is maybe now possibility to go for stage win in the last week. Also for Zakarin, who did a good TT, possibilities will come. Don’t forget how far Ilnur has come. Every day he’s better and his condition is growing. We will go for a good last Tour week!” said team director José Azevedo.

 

 

Team KATUSHA’s Joaquim Rodriguez is currently in 13th place, but looks to the Alps to move up in the classification in his last Tour de France after announcing he will retire at the end of the season.

 

Thibaut Pinot abandons the Tour de France

Suffering from bronchitis, Thibaut Pinot didn’t take the start.

 

“With all of the difficulties he’s had these past few days, it was becoming difficult for him. He’s undergoing tests now. We came to this decision even though we felt it was preferable to stay in the race. He already had the first symptoms of bronchitis at Arcalis in the hailstones and going to the podium ceremony for the polka dot jersey didn’t help. Then there was the accumulation of problems on the last stages. It became complicated. When you abandon the Tour, your morale is never very good,"team manager, Marc Madiot Madiot told L’Équipe.

 

Fabio Aru: I lost more time than expected

“I lost a bit too much and I cannot be satisfied,” said Fabio Aru. “The wind was blowing so strong but it was there for everybody and it cannot be an excuse. I gavemy best today, nonetheless the result is not the one I aimed for.

 

“The important thing is now to rest and regain energy for the next day: the Tour is still long, still 8 stages where anything can happen until Paris. We must remain competitive and concentrated until the end”

 

Romain Bardet: I am glad to have the time trial behind me

Romain Bardet (Ag2r) said:

 

“It was tricky. I was moved around by the wind and the rolling roads like everyone else. It was difficult to go out there after what happened yesterday. Sport becomes secondary in such circumstances.

 

”The TT is a tricky effort that I don't master just yet. But I gave my all. I really gave everything I had in my locker today. I'm still finding my way as a time triallist. I'm glad it’s behind me.

 

"I did not have high expectations today. This result is neither good nor bad. The time trial is not my specialty and since Bergerac (2014), I had not done a long time trial. I hope to be good in the Alps because I am fit and the GC is not decided yet.

 

"I lost a few seconds at the top of the first climb and that distracted me. I hadn't done a time trial longer than 15 kilometres since 2014, it's not an exercise that I enjoy at all. But I limited my losses and my terrain is in the high mountains.

 

"The third week will be decisive and we'll be obliged to show ourselves. Everyone is going to try to go on the attack. I hope I haven't used up all my venom. I hope you’ll be hearing about me in the third week.

 

"The top 5 remains the objective, I will be forced to attack.

 

“It was not easy to concentrate after what happened yesterday on the Promenade des Anglais. It puts an event like the Tour de France in perspective. It's important to continue to do what we love. People were on the roadside, they are happy with the event. It would have been bad signal to suspend it. We must be together with the most heartfelt thoughts for the victims. We are all shocked. It was hard to fall asleep last night and see the extent this morning."
 
"I am happy with Romain’s performance,” said manager Vincent Lavenu. “He was stubborn and did not give up. He gained time on Dan Martin, Louis Meintjes, Fabio Aru and Warren Barguil.

 
“He is seventh overall and can move up in the rankings. This time trial was an important stage and he passed it well. Romain is fit and on track. The best is yet to come.”

 

Rui Costa: I took it easy

“My TT was as a good workout for the last stages,” Rui Costa said. “I was not my best but set at a moderate pace, already thinking about the physical recovery for the next mountain opportunity.”

 

Wilco Kelderman: It was worthless as you can see

Wilco Kelderman finished disappointed in the Tour de France’s time trial to Le Caverne de Pont, 45th at 4-57 minutes behind winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).

 

"It was worthless, as you can see,” team LottoNL-Jumbo said after the 37.5-kilometre stage 13.

 

“It is very disappointing. Those cross-winds made it dangerous. I was really scared in the downhill.”

 

He raced with a time trial front wheel despite the wind. 

 

"You want to be fast, so you’ve to choose a three-spoke front wheel and a disc rear. If you want to win you have to go for the fastest option."

 

"This is a very disappointing result,” performance manager Mathieu Heijboer added. “The only positive is that he stayed upright. From the car, we quickly saw that it was not good. We went for a top 10 place and I'm sure he can do it, but after the first intermediate point his time was already so bad that we decided for staying safe. We directed him to ride safely rather than take risk for a top 30.

 

"It is clear that this day did not go well for Kelderman. We have to analyse it, and not look too far ahead."

 

It was uncertain whether the stage would go ahead because of the terror attack in Nice. Kelderman had that in his head.

 

"Sport is not that important, we are so busy with cycling, but then you read something like that,” Kelderman said. “It's about people's lives, and that's terrible. "

 

"It is unfortunate that it is not unique, it is yet another shock where you get scared,” Sep Vanmarcke said. “I was not thinking about racing today. I just hope that nothing will happen again."

 

Thomas De Gendt: It will be great for my career if I can win this jersey

Thomas De Gendt was the first Lotto Soudal rider in the ranking, he got 32nd at 4’08”. Thibaut Pinot, his nearest opponent in the KOM classification, didn’t take the start today. Rafal Majka is now second, the Polish rider has twelve points less than De Gendt.

 

At the end of the stage Thomas De Gendt, the other jersey holders and stage winner Dumoulin paid their respects to the victims of the attack in Nice during a short podium ceremony.

 

 “I won a stage of Paris-Nice on the Promenade des Anglais. It was always a good memory but now it's something different,” he said.

 

"I've enjoyed this stage. It's something special to do a time trial in the polka dot jersey. I've seen a lot Lotto-Soudal fans. That's fun. I just rode tempo during the time trial, and apparently that was not so bad.

 

"It was dangerous with those winds. Every time you came out of the trees, you caught a gust. I almost crashed twice.

 

"It is now more realistic than when I wore this jersey a few days ago in the first week. Now we are almost at the end of the second week of the Tour and I wear it again.Everything is still possible. Theoretically a rider without any points can still win. But I'm in good shape, I have a big opportunity and I'm going to make a few plans to see what is best. The best scenario is that I am in the breaks in stages where there are points to earn.

 

"I think that's unfortunate with Pinot. I would like to fight against someone other than see him abandon. I hope it will be a battle, also with Majka. It would be great for my career if I can win this jersey.”

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