Tour de France: Number 3 for Chris Froome

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Chris Froome became only the second British rider to win three or more stages in a single Tour de France today and the race isn’t over yet.

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* Mark Cavendish is the other British rider to win three or more and he’s done that on five occasions

Despite not racing as deep as he did for the first time trial, Chris Froome in yellow still won the stage and put time into all the other GC contenders now led by Alberto Contador with Roman Kreuziger in third. Dutchman Bauke Mollema dropped to fourth from second.

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Race Report
Chris Froome can do no wrong and confirmed today, yet again, that he is the fastest rider in the 100th Tour de France.

The rider who races with the Kenyan flag on his bike and under a British licence, beat Alberto Contador by 8.82 seconds to win a time trial for the first time from his three starts in the Tour. Last year he was second to Bradley Wiggins twice whilst today he was almost nine seconds ahead of one of the former champions and yet again demonstrated that his preparation for the race has been perfect.

He was given leadership status after stepping off the podium as runner-up in the 2012 edition and after today it seems only an accident can prevent him from winning the yellow jersey in 2013.

Unlike his main rival Contador, Froome opted to swap bikes just before the second time check to have a bigger gear to push on the finale but even with that bit of juggling – switching from a road bike to a TT-specific one – he still took time out of the Spanish rider.

The rider who had been in second overall, Bauke Mollema, finished well down the rankings and his time losing ride against the watch was made even worse when he thumped into a barricade 1.2km from the finish, rubbing salt into wounded pride… he would lose 2’09 to the stage winner and end up 6’23 behind Froome.

If there were awards for the bravest and most unfortunate rider in the 17th stage, Jean-Christophe Peraud would be the winner. His Tour de France came to an end 2km from the finish of the time trial and it was because of a dramatic crash. Not only did he land heavily on his right shoulder, but he did so for the second time today after having an accident while training on the course earlier in the day. He was in ninth overall but is now out of the race.

The stage story
The 32km time trial for stage 17 began under bright blue skies and with temperatures in the mid-20s (Celsius). The first to start the race from Embrun to Chorges was Svein Tuft (OGE) at 10.17am.

Riders began the TT at two minute intervals with many of the early starters opting to use standard road bikes on a course that featured two category-two climbs, the cote de Puy-Sanieres (which also marked the first time check, at 6.5km) and the cote doe Reallon (the second intermediate check, at 20km).

Most riders opted to use standard road bikes for the TT today because of the hilly, technical nature of the course. The time trial specialists who excelled in stage 11 did not fare too well; Svein Tuft (OGE) was sixth in Mont-Saint-Michel but he covered the first 6.5km in 18’06”, while the 30th starter Lieuwe Westra (VCD) did the same distance in 15’42”.

The Dutchman held the best time at each check – finishing in 54’02” – until Alessandro De Marchi (CAN). He was 10” behind at the 6.5km mark but 13” ahead at 20km but Westra’s time at the finish was 13” better than the Italian. The first to beat Westra’s time was Jon Izaguirre who covered the course at an average speed of 35.6km/h, beating Westra by 4” on the same day that his brother, Gorka, was a non-starter.

Van Garderen (BMC) was fourth best at 6.5km, 1st at 20km and 1st at the end of the stage in 53’24” (35.9km/h). After the arrival of van Garderen, the riders on the course had to deal with the extra challenge of wet roads. Rain started to fall at around 3.15pm and it was particularly wet on the second climb but it was still dry at Puy-Sanieres.

Although some riders in the middle of the field had very wet conditions, the roads dried up a lot by the time the later starters set off. Van Garderen maintained some optimism but, while in the ‘hot seat’ he suggested that Froome would probably beat him: “The way Froome is riding right now I think that, even if it’s raining, he might just beat me but who knows, I might just be the luckiest guy here…”

Valverde was the first to best De Gendt’s time (by 16”) and the Spaniard was 59” ahead of van Garderen at the second check, averaging 30.9km/h for the first 20km. Despite his injuries, Peraud was 21st best at the 20km mark but, with 2km to go in the stage, he had a terrible crash and abandoned the Tour. He had been in ninth place overall.

Contador meanwhile was fastest at the 6.5km and 20km mark but it’s worth noting that: 1. Contador did not change his bike; 2. Froome did stop and swap his bike about 100m before the time check of the 20km mark. Furthermore, the road had dried up a lot by the time that the last riders were on course but there were still very wet patches on the descent leading to Chorges.

Contador beat Rodriguez’s time by just 0.72 of a second (setting an average speed of 37.1km/h) to take the lead with only Mollema and Froome to finish. With 1.2km to go, Mollema overshot a sweeping right turn and hit the barriers hard but did not fall to the ground.

He did, however, have to stop and reclip into the pedals before getting moving again. He would finish the stage in 11th place and drop from second to fourth overall.

2013_TdF_Stage176_FroomeSignsJerseys

The last rider to finish was also the fastest. Chris Froome beat Contador by 8.82 seconds after covering the 32km course at an average speed of 37.2km/h but the stage win wasn’t expected by the man in yellow who admitted he didn’t put himself in the hurt-box like when he came second in the first individual time trial of the 2013 Tour.

“I’m really surprised with today’s result. I went in almost prepared to lose a little bit of time just thinking about the days to come and not wanted to absolutely put myself in the hurt-box today ahead of tomorrow’s two times up Alpe d’Huez.”

“I didn’t hurt myself as much as I did on the first time trial but I was really surprised. I was quite encouraged to hear the time checks and to hear that I wasn’t actually too far off Contador on the first check and the second check.”

“I knew, having changed to the time trial bike for the end – with the bigger gears, I was able to definitely gain a few seconds. It’s going to be a race all the way to Paris. Even though I’ve got quite a good buffer of over four minutes, I still feel like that’s being challenged every day and especially now as these next three days are going to be the hardest of the Tour so far.”

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Picture: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

On whether there is any agro between himself and Contador, Chris replied to Ned Boulting “There’s no personality clash between Contador and myself. We get on well enough on the bike – and, I mean, it’s healthy competition I think. I just thought yesterday he did push the limits a little bit too far by taking risks on the descent and then putting me at danger by crashing just in front of me.”

“All it needs is one little mistake like that and that could be the end of someone’s Tour. I think he also needs to remember that this is a bike race and it’s not life-and-death in that sense.

On whether he is aiming to win on Alpe d’Huez “I’m not looking to win stages. I’m just trying to do whatever I can at the moment to hold on to whatever lead I can at the moment with the yellow jersey. I think that comes first as a priority and anything outside of that is a bonus at this point.”

Nairo Quintana: “I had a good race against the clock because it is a course that suited me well. It was one of the most important time trials of my life, but perhaps not the best. I felt good, but I was a little tired from yesterday’s stage.”

“Tomorrow’s stage to Alpe d’Huez will be decisive. It is both exciting and challenging. For the moment I do not know anything about this place, I’ve never been there. I’ll try to approach it calmly. My goal is to keep me where I am, that is to say to defend my white jersey against Kwiatkowski, and try to fight with the race favourites.”

Stage 17
1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 51:33:00
2 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:09
3 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:10
4 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:23
5 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 00:30
6 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 01:11
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 01:33
8 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 01:34
9 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 01:41
10 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team 01:51
11 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:09
12 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 02:17
13 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 02:25
14 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Ion Euskaltel – Euskadi ,,
15 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 02:27
16 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:29
17 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM ,,
18 TAARAMäE Rein Cofidis Solutions Crédits 02:40
19 DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM 02:41
20 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 02:42
21 KL̦DEN Andr̩as RadioShack РLeopard 02:46
22 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 02:49
23 VELITS Peter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step ,,
24 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 02:53
25 RIBLON Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 02:54
26 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 02:57
27 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 03:06
28 HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin – Sharp 03:07
29 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 03:12
30 PLAZA MOLINA Ruben Movistar Team 03:15
31 MOSER Moreno Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 03:20
32 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 03:22
33 ROY Jérémy Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 03:27
34 SICARD Romain Euskaltel – Euskadi 03:28
35 GADRET John AG2R La Mondiale 03:31
36 EL FARES Julien Sojasun 03:43
37 FEDRIGO Pierrick Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 03:44
38 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 03:45
39 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits ,,
40 MOLARD Rudy Cofidis Solutions Crédits 03:47
41 O’GRADY Stuart Orica GreenEDGE 03:51
42 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 03:53
43 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 04:00
44 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard 04:15
45 VUILLERMOZ Alexis Sojasun ,,
46 KITTEL Marcel Team Argos – Shimano 04:17
47 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp 04:18
48 HIVERT Jonathan Sojasun 04:23
49 LEVARLET Guillaume Cofidis Solutions Crédits ,,
50 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team 04:30
51 TROFIMOV Yuri Katusha Team 04:32
52 GESCHKE Simon Team Argos – Shimano 04:35
53 SIUTSOU Kanstantsin Sky Procycling 04:39
54 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team ,,
55 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida 04:44
56 MILLAR David Garmin – Sharp 04:45
57 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 04:49
58 MOREIRA PAULINHO Sergio Miguel Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,
59 DUMOULIN Tom Team Argos – Shimano 04:52
60 KOREN Kristjan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team ,,
61 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team 04:54
62 BOOM Lars Belkin Pro Cycling Team 04:55
63 BAUER Jack Garmin – Sharp 05:07
64 PEREZ MORENO Ruben Euskaltel – Euskadi 05:09
65 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida 05:10
66 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM 05:12
67 KADRI Blel AG2R La Mondiale ,,
68 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 05:17
69 PINEAU J̩rome Omega Pharma РQuick-Step 05:18
70 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale 05:19
71 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil – DCM 05:21
72 HOOGERLAND Johnny Vacansoleil – DCM ,,
73 TIMMER Albert Team Argos – Shimano 05:24
74 REZA Kevin Team Europcar 05:25
75 LEMOINE Cyril Sojasun 05:30
76 DELAPLACE Anthony Sojasun 05:33
77 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE 05:34
78 THOMAS Geraint Sky Procycling ,,
79 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi 05:39
80 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team 05:40
81 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard 05:41
82 GARCíA ETXEGIBEL Egoitz Cofidis Solutions Crédits 05:43
83 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE 05:44
84 SIMON Julien Sojasun 05:47
85 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team ,,
86 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida 05:50
87 GENE Yohann Team Europcar 05:51
88 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard 05:52
89 LANCASTER Brett Orica GreenEDGE 05:53
90 HERNáNDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesús Team Saxo-Tinkoff 05:56
91 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 05:58
92 CIMOLAI Davide Lampre – Merida ,,
93 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team 05:59
94 VICHOT Arthur Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 06:02
95 COUSIN Jérôme Team Europcar ,,
96 FAVILLI Elia Lampre – Merida 06:05
97 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team 06:06
98 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE ,,
99 ASTARLOZA CHAURREAU Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi ,,
100 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Belkin Pro Cycling Team 06:07
101 MALACARNE Davide Team Europcar ,,
102 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil – DCM 06:08
103 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar 06:09
104 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team 06:10
105 MARANGONI Alan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 06:13
106 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team ,,
107 MINARD Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale 06:15
108 BOECKMANS Kris Vacansoleil – DCM 06:16
109 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team 06:17
110 BAK Lars Ytting Lotto Belisol Team ,,
111 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar 06:19
112 BENNATI Daniele Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,
113 DEGENKOLB John Team Argos – Shimano 06:20
114 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 06:21
115 FISCHER Murilo Antonio Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr ,,
116 BRUTT Pavel Katusha Team 06:23
117 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team 06:24
118 OROZ UGALDE Juan Jos̩ Euskaltel РEuskadi 06:26
119 MARINO Jean Marc Sojasun ,,
120 FEILLU Brice Sojasun 06:27
121 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team ,,
122 VANDBORG Brian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 06:30
123 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 06:32
124 KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr Katusha Team 06:33
125 LE MEVEL Christophe Cofidis Solutions Crédits 06:35
126 VAN POPPEL Boy Vacansoleil – DCM 06:37
127 VEILLEUX David Team Europcar 06:38
128 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida 06:40
129 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,
130 STEEGMANS Gert Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 06:41
131 CURVERS Roy Team Argos – Shimano 06:43
132 VOIGT Jens RadioShack – Leopard 06:47
133 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team 06:49
134 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 06:50
135 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE ,,
136 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol Team 06:51
137 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE 06:53
138 VORGANOV Eduard Katusha Team 06:55
139 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar ,,
140 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol Team 06:57
141 LEEZER Tom Belkin Pro Cycling Team ,,
142 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team 06:59
143 DIDIER Laurent RadioShack – Leopard 07:01
144 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team 07:03
145 KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling 07:04
146 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel RadioShack – Leopard ,,
147 WYNANTS Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling Team 07:05
148 SABATINI Fabio Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 07:06
149 MEYER Cameron Orica GreenEDGE 07:10
150 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 07:13
151 QUINZIATO Manuel BMC Racing Team ,,
152 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team 07:17
153 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar ,,
154 MEDEREL Maxime Sojasun 07:18
155 WILLEMS Frederik Lotto Belisol Team 07:25
156 DE KORT Koen Team Argos – Shimano 07:26
157 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida ,,
158 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin Movistar Team 07:31
159 VANMARCKE Sep Belkin Pro Cycling Team 07:33
160 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 07:35
161 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA Andrey Movistar Team 07:44
162 BAZAYEV Assan Astana Pro Team 07:46
163 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 07:54
164 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale 07:59
165 TUFT Svein Orica GreenEDGE 08:01
166 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Argos – Shimano 08:03
167 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 08:04
168 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan Movistar Team 08:05
169 SMUKULIS Gatis Katusha Team 08:15
170 LOPEZ GARCIA David Sky Procycling 08:20
171 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Euskaltel – Euskadi 08:25
172 STANNARD Ian Sky Procycling 08:48
173 MURAVYEV Dmitriy Astana Pro Team 09:03
174 LUTSENKO Aleksey Astana Pro Team 09:32
175 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas Garmin – Sharp 09:55
176 VEELERS Tom Team Argos – Shimano 10:27
177 BONNET William Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 10:39

Overall
1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 66:07:09
2 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 04:34
3 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 04:51
4 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 06:23
5 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 06:58
6 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 07:21
7 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 08:23
8 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 08:56
9 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 11:10
10 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 12:50
11 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 13:19
12 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 15:12
13 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 15:13
14 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 16:43
15 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 17:04
16 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 23:34
17 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 23:36
18 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 24:44:00
19 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 27:35:00
20 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 28:43:00

 

 

 

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