Chris Froome spreads Tour leading but Tom Dumoulin wins on difficult period

Chris Froome moved a step closer to claiming a third Tour de France crown but Tom Dumoulin won the stage 13 era contest in style

Steadily, inexorably, Chris Froome is building the foundations for a third Tour de France succes. His home in the record books alongside Louison Bobet, Philippe Thys and Greg LeMond is far from in the bag but after increasing his induce over all his challengers, and in particular Nairo Quintana after the time test, the Team Sky rider could hardly have hoped to be in a better location with eight periods serious racing to come.

Froome did not win the stage. That accepts came to the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who is likely to prove his most jeopardize competitor for the gold medal in the Olympic time trial in Rio. Dumoulin was well ahead, 1min 3sec clear of Froome, but the hasten captain like his immediate competitives had stood two extremely difficult theatres on Wednesday and Thursday and had descended over a motorbike and then had to run for several hundred metres on Mont Ventoux the previous afternoon.

Both Froome and Dumoulin spoke of certain difficulties of rivalling on another day of remorse and surprise for France. Dumoulin said he had wondered whether the stage should go ahead, adding: Im glad with the win but its overshadowed of course. Its a strange era, with very mixed fondness. Im happy with the winning, but cannot be happy.

Froome took one question at his post-race press conference. With the strange desegregate of dignity and disregard that is uniquely his, he was not prepared to discuss the hasten, which seemed entirely appropriate in the circumstances.

With the exception of Bauke Mollema and perhaps Adam Yates, Froomes contenders could take insufficient encouragement from an afternoon spent fighting the wind over the plateau flowing westwards into the Ardche. Mollema had pictured well on Mont Ventoux, appears to abide the least in the incident with the motorbike, and had been happy with the commissaires judgment. Here, the lanky Dutchman was the only rider to finish within a minute of Froome; as a result, he developed second at 1min 47 sec, and is given an opportunity of improving on his sixth lieu overall in 2013.

For a rider who says he cannot occasion visitation well, Yates rode strongly, finishing ahead of Quintana and Richie Porte, who clearly started too quickly and striven sometime on. The young Bury rider does not look like a period triallist either, with the movement in his torso and hips seeing him gaze awkward on his motorcycle compared with Froome or Dumoulin. I did OK. Im never going to pull time out of the GC guys as duration trialling is one of my weakest dress. I detected I had dominance on the climbs but struggled in the crosswind slice. I hope where reference is get to the Alps I can gather some time back and then fighting all the way to Paris.

Behind Yates, only Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Tejay van Garderen are within four minutes of Froome, while Romain Bardet restraint his losings and lies seventh at 4min 4sec. Quintana struggled horribly, never gazing competitive and following his ineffectual criticizes on Mont Ventoux the Colombian ogles worn out. In past Tours 2013 and 2015 he has revived in the final week but like the remain he faces an uphill struggle.

Chris Froome and stagecoach win Tom Dumoulin put down flowers as a trade mark of respect to the victims of the attack in Nice, joined by Adam Yates, Thomas de Gendt and Peter Sagan. Image: Peter Dejong/ AP

This was a harsh exam of forte and not without its dangers. Dumoulin originated close to gate-crash, as did Bardet and Quintana, who overestimated the same left-hand reces. The first hill reared straight up from the start and was followed by a comparatively sheltered region through trees along a plateau before a technical serial of turns and turns down into the Ardche gorge, where Dumoulin and Froome were clocked at 110 kph, before climbing again to the finish.

The hills were one part, but the main issue was the same strong northerly wind that had rent the hasten to shreds the previous 2 day. At eras creating gusts that stirred it was difficult to stand steadily, it blew against the equestrians on the first and final slopes, across their trajectory for much of the middle part before moving slightly behind. That represented the choice of gear a play: whether to opt for solid disc rotations at the back in the knowledge they would be faster but that they may well act as a sail in the crosswinds and cause the bike to perceive unstable; or to use somewhat slower but most secure spoked wheels.

There were casualties even beforehand, with Thibaut Pinot retiring though illness and Simon Gerrans unable to continue after separating his collarbone en route to Mont Ventoux.

Froome and co will pedal northwards on Saturday at fairly what quickened is in the lap of high winds divinities as this breeze will be in their faces for what should be a sprint stage where such as Mark Cavendish and Dan McLay will do battle before the next major measure, Sundays strenuous stage through the Alpine foothills, with the super-category climb of the Grand Colombier. After that the Alps beckon and the Tour is now Froomes to lose.

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