Monday, July 15, 2024

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 13; Bourg-Saint-Andéol – La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc ITT. Tom Dumoulin in a class of his own


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Tom DumoulinFab Cancellara? (Trek) is no longer quoted, Tone Martin? (Etixx) looks like he’s ‘last year’s tester’ – the new crowned King of the Chrono is Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Giant).

He put a minute into maillot jaune Froome in today’s technical and tough time test and set himself as the number one favourite for the Rio Olympic Time Trial.

And that’s after a brilliant mountain stage win last weekend in Andorra.

Sky’s reigning World TT Champ, Kiryienka?

Come on, the man’s been on the front for a fortnight!

Tom Dumoulin
Tom Dumoulin was in a class of his own today. Photo©ASO/G.Demouveaux

Initially it looked like Richie Porte (BMC) might be right there too but a super quick time at check one flattered to deceive and he tied up to finish well down on the day.

Big Bauke Mollema (Trek) rode strongly into a podium position – solid rides too from Dan Martin (Etixx), Adam Yates (Orica), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

But another disappointing day for Nairo Quintana (Movistar) after the Ventoux yesterday where he looked distinctly average compared to Mollema and Froome.

But on this sad, strange day it was Froome again cementing his position in yellow and making it look more unlikely than ever that he can beaten in this Tour.

Tom Dumoulin
Mr. Prudhomme offers the organisation’s condolences to the victims and their families. Photo©ASO/O.Chabe
Tom Dumoulin
Alex Howes takes the start. Photo©ASO/O.Chabe

We pick up the action as the top GC men came off their turbos and headed for the start house…

As we wait on the Bigs rolling down the ramp the standings are:

  1. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) 50.15
  2. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) +1.31
  3. Jerome Coppel (IAM) +1.35
  4. Dennis Rohan (BMC) +1.41
  5. Ion Izagirre (Movistar) +2.02
  6. Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) +2.05
  7. Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) +2.24
  8. Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) +2.31
  9. Macej Bodnar (Tinkoff) +2.32
  10. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) +2.34

Despite the parcours perhaps not being one for the ‘pure’ chrono men – witness the deficits of Worlds chrono medal winner, Coppel; fastest ever Tour time tester Dennis and former world champion Martin – with two tough climbs it’s Netherlands ‘chronoman’ tall Tom Dumoulin well clear on the leader board from surprising Portuguese Champion, Oliveira.

Tom Dumoulin
Nelson Olivera surprised early. Photo©ASO/A.Broadway

Apart from the climbs, there’s also a vicious crosswind as Richie Porte rolls off the ramp – his compact style is ideal on day and tough, windblown course like this.

Porte is within nine seconds of Dumoulin at the first check – atop the days, first long drag, that’s good enough for second spot at this stage.

Tom Dumoulin
Peter Sagan ended the day over six minutes behind Dumoulin. Photo©ASO/P.Ballet

Sadly, we’ve heard that Trek’s up and coming sprinter, Edward Theuns has crashed and quit the race.

Dan Martin next of the ramp – he’s too skinny to be a big time tester so this is an exercise in loss limitation.

Tom Dumoulin
Andre Greipel gives it enough of a go, but this isn’t his thing. Photo©ASO/A.Broadway

Tejay van Garderen is long and lean and can ride a decent test, he’s on the road now.

Roman Bardet is another skinny man but he now carries the hopes of France and will be only too conscious of that as he bumps down that ramp.

Rodriguez (Katusha) is on the road, too wee to be a chronoman it’ll be horrible day for him.

Mollema (Trek) is different; big, strong and powering through the wind – nothing unusual about that for a Dutchman – on that sleek Trek, he was ‘on’ yesterday on the Ventoux and it’ll be interesting to see how he goes today.

Tom Dumoulin
Edvard Boasson Hagen heads to 13th place. Photo©ASO/G.Demouveaux

Quintana (Movistar) is on the road, remember that he’s improved his time testing no end and even won the elbow bend etape in the Route du Sud.

Yates (Orica)now, in white but on paper too frail to be a man to damage time pieces.

Dan Martin (Etixx) bounces about on the bike and is out of the tuck as the wind catches him – it’s not going to be a memorable time but as long as he doesn’t collapse, he’ll be happy.

Usain Froome (Sky) is off in an all yellow skinsuit with yellow flashes on the Pinarello to match, oh dear; but he looks less upsetting on a TT bike than he does on a road bike, the back is flat and the cadence is good.

Tom Dumoulin
Steve Cummings made the top ten today. Photo©ASO/A.Broadway

Aru (Astana) looks surprisingly good through a technical section – it must be downhill?

Geraint Thomas (Sky) finishes – fifth, not a bad ride given the work he’s been doing for Froome.

Bardet nearly drops it on a corner – steady boy!

Dan Martin has dropped three minutes on Dumoulin at check two.

Tom Dumoulin
Rohan Dennis finished fifth. Photo©ASO/A.Broadway

Aru fills the screen again – whilst he looks like he’s going OK, the watches don’t lie and he’s on a distinctly average time.

Froome is down on Dumoulin at check one – it looks like it’s the Dutchman’s day.

BMC’s Tejay is on a decent ride, not one to challenge for the win but well there in the GC squabble.

Meintjes (Lampre) drops four minutes on Dumoulin at the finish – that’s OK for him.

Porte to finish now, 15th spot, 3:08 down – he was second at the first check…

Tom Dumoulin
Another rider to finish around six minutes in arrears, Thomas Voeckler. Photo©ASO/P.Ballet
Tom Dumoulin
The course was far from a flat one. Photo©ASO/P.Ballet

Mollema goes eighth at check three, he’ll be happy with that.

Dan Martin waggles his skinny arms into the finish straight, 26th @ four minutes plus – not a disaster.

Froome is looking very strong, clipping those apexes like a Moto GP rider – his style may be horrible but there’s nothing to fault about his velocity.

Aru scrapes top 30 @ just over four minutes deficit.

Tejay, 13th @ 2:50; that’s 22 seconds quicker that Porte.

Yates is 21st at the final check – not bad for a skinny climber.

Tom Dumoulin
Tony Martin in the beautiful Ardèche. Photo©ASO/P.Ballet

There are 10 K to go for Froome but just metres to the finish for Valverde – 13th, not bad at all.

Froome slices through the third check, three quarters of a minute behind Big Tam D the Dutchman but clearly the best of the Bigs.

Bardet fights into the finish, he’s empty, you can see it – he’s dropped 3:52.

And there’s Mollema, not too far adrift of Bardet on the road for three minutes – fifth @ 1:53, nice ride.

Tom Dumoulin
Peter Stetina. Photo©ASO/B.Bade

Remember that whilst Dumoulin hid in the gruppo yesterday, the likes of Froome and Mollema were fighting to the death on the Ventoux.

Yates dances the last climb; behind him Froome looks to be suffering but keeps forcing that Pinarello upwards.

Quintana now to finish; 18th just over three minutes off the Dumoulin time.

Yates still dances, that catches A LOT of wind.

Adam Yates is riding an amazing race. Photo©ASO/G.Demouveaux
Adam Yates is riding an amazing race. Photo©ASO/G.Demouveaux

Froome is moving around much more in the saddle, now – this is hurting.

This is a brutal finish – all uphill and sore!

Yates is 17th dropping three minutes – that’s no disaster.

Froome now to finish, he will not beat Dumoulin but he will be way best of the GC riders, just over a minute behind the Giant man and taking second place on the stage.

Tom Dumoulin
Chris Froome showed he’s the man for the overall, no question. Photo©ASO/P.Ballet

The final stage story looks like this:

  1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin 00:50:15