VALLON-PONT-D’ARC, France, July 15 – Kenyan-born-Briton Chris Froome extended his lead in the yellow jersey after the 13th stage of the Tour de France, as Dutchman Tom Dumoulin won Friday’s individual time-trial.
The stage was ridden in a mournful atmosphere as a minute’s silence was held both before the start and after the finish in hommage to the victims of Thursday’s Nice terror attack.
“On one side I’m very happy and on the other side I’m very sad. I woke up to the terrible news from Nice,” said a subdued Dumoulin.
It was the 25-year-old’s second stage victory of the Tour but the big winner was Briton Froome.
He finished second at the end of the 37.5km stage from Bourg Saint Andeol to La Caverne du Pont d’Arc and now leads by 1min 47sec overall to Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands.
But Froome, 31, put significant time into his main rivals such as Nairo Quintana, who dropped to fourth overall at a second under three minutes.
Mollema took sixth place on the stage and moved up two places to second with young Briton Adam Yates resisting well to drop only one spot to third at 2:45.
Dumoulin, who also won last Sunday’s ninth stage, had a long wait before his victory was confirmed having overhauled early pace-setter Nelson Oliveira of Portugal, who ended up third.
Despite being involved in a crash during a dramatic 12th stage on Thursday, Froome proved he was the strongest time-trialer amongst the overall favourites.
Mollema, the surprise of Thursday’s stage, put in a strong ride and lost only 50sec to Froome.
But Colombian Quintana seemed out of sorts from the off and ended up losing more than 2min to Froome.