TDF’16 St.13: The Flying Dutchman Dumoulin!
Race Report: On a tragic day for France, Tom Dumoulin was able to create some sporting joy as he blitzed the rolling and windy time trial course on stage 13 for a famous win. Behind him the GC took some shape as Froome asserted his utter dominance to a near two minute overall lead from Bauke Mollema.
A strong wind and two stiff climbs greeted the riders for the thirteenth stage and first time trial of the 2016 Tour de France. Many of the early starters saw it as an opportunity to take the day off and conserve some energy for the second half of the race, however Nelson Oliveira was the surprise early leader. It was difficult to qualify how good his time was until he held off Rohan Dennis, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara to leave just Tom Dumoulin and the GC riders as likely champions. Unfortunately for Oliveira, Dumoulin was on an incredible ride and he decimated the Portuguese rider’s time to lead by 1:31. He was to remain in the hot seat for the rest of the stage as only Froome, 1:03 down, got even close to his time. Bauke Mollema lost just 51 seconds to Froome but he was the only GC rider within a minute, Van Garderen was 1:47 down, Adam Yates 1:58, Quintana 2:05 and Fabio Aru a whopping 3:23 down on a day when the GC really took shape, and the shape was a pyramid with Froome at the top and everyone else scrabbling below.
The first time trial of the race took the riders from Bourg-Saint-Andeol on 37km of windy roads to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, just to the south of Montelimar. The first man off the start ramp will be Irish sprinter, Sam Bennett, who sits 2:52:34 behind Chris Froome. The Brit set off just shy of seven hours later to face the undulating course which features two climbs. The first climb comes straight out the gate and took the riders 379m up in 7.5km of riding, they then hit a plateau for the next 15km. A short descent and some flat riding took the riders to the foot of the final climb up to the finish which rose 162m in just over 3km. Everyone competing was hopeful of a boring day after the unintended drama of yesterday’s truncated stage to Mount Ventoux.
A Silent Tribute
As a mark of respect to the victims of the Nice terrorist attacks the music at the start and finish areas and within the publicity caravan was muted. There was also a minute’s silence held before the start of the stage in memory.
The first riders off the ramp were also muted as they took the opportunity to take it easy and conserve energy for the rest of the race. The field was reduced by two early on as Simon Gerrans (Orica-BikeExchange) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) both abandoned with a broken collarbone and bronchitis respectively. It will go down as another chance gone for the Frenchman who will see himself drift behind Bardet and Barguil in the French pecking order.
Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff), who had been so instrumental in Sagan’s second Tour stage win this year earlier in the week, was the first rider to put in a serious effort and he finished in a time of 52:47 to put 1:29 into the fastest time previously held by Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale).
Bodnar’s time was never going to stand up to the scrutiny of the best riders and he was quickly swiped off the hot seat by Rohan Dennis (BMC) who went 51 seconds faster, he was then able to hold off Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) despite the Brit setting a faster time at the intermediate time check.
Dennis’ time withstood Fabian Cancellara’s (Trek-Segafredo) efforts but it was undone by the unlikely ride of Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), the current Portuguese time trial champion who went 10 seconds faster with the majority of riders yet to finish.
After a period of downtime Jerome Coppell (IAM Cycling) was the next rider to go close after a strong finish to the ride, he crossed the line just four seconds down on the surprise leader. Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) was the next favorite to roll down the start ramp and into the teeth of an ever increasing gale. He was quickly on target to beat Oliveira but as the wind speed increased he was losing contact with the Portuguese leader. There was a late resurgence from the German national champion but he could only manage a provisional fourth at the finish, Tony Martin, Rohan Dennis and Fabian Cancellara had now been and gone without troubling the fastest time.
The Top 40
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was the last of the time trial specialists to take to the course and he was immediately up on Oliveira at the first and second time checks. The only hope for the Portuguese leader was that his Dutch rival had gone out to fast and would fade on the final climb. There was no such fade and actually the Giant-Alpecin rider just got faster and faster and smashed Oliveira’s time by 1:31 to set a fastest time of 50:15.
Dumoulin had dominated the time trial so far and there was a lull as we drifted towards the GC showdown that lay ahead.
Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) was arguably the first of the main favorites to go, he was quickly followed by Richie Porte (BMC), Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) and Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha). The Australian, Porte, has so far looked the strongest in the mountains but thanks to a puncture on the second stage he was sitting 2:22 behind Froome at the start of the day. The Australian however was flying through the first time check as he registered a time just ten seconds behind Dumoulin. That was a whole 1:10 quicker than Warren Barguil who was sinking without a trace, Joaquin Rodriguez was also riding to the formbook as he lost 56 seconds after 7km.
So far Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) was the surprise of the day, he hit the first check point just 50 seconds down on Dumoulin and 40 down on Porte, he was the third fastest GC rider at that point with just eight more to come through.
Porte had started fast but he’d faded fast as well and came through the second time check, at 28km, with a two minute deficit on Dumoulin. Quintana was the next through the opening time check and he was 50 seconds down after 7km, about par compared to the rest of his rivals but Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) was the next through and he set a blistering time just 37 seconds down on Dumoulin.
Chris Froome (Sky) was the final man through the first time check and he was the second quickest of the GC favorites, seven seconds down on Porte but up on all his other rivals.
Meintjes, Rodriguez, Martin and Aru were losing time quickly, one minute on Porte at the final check point and more than three minutes on Dumoulin. Porte crossed the finish 3:08 behind the lead time, after a strong opening he’d dropped down the leaderboard very quickly.
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) had been largely ignored in the time trial, but he was putting in a quietly excellent time. He’d put time into all his GC rivals who had come before and just over a minute into Quintana who was quickly losing time as the race went on.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) were surprisingly equal at the finish as they lost 2:48 and 2:50 respectively. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) was a further minute down after a very ragged ride. In fact, he was almost caught by Bauke Mollema who went a minute quicker than Valverde and Van Garderen for a fantastic result.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) started suffering yesterday and continued today, finishing 3:07 down on Dumoulin and losing significant time to Mollema. He was even behind Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) who put in an incredible ride to finish just 3:01 down on the leader.
Froome continued his relentless steamroll towards the yellow jersey in Paris, finishing just 1:03 down on Dumoulin and flying past the pure time triallers best efforts. He will now waltz into the third weekend with a significant lead on general classification.
Keep your eyes on Steephill.tv for live stage viewing near you.
Tour de France Stage 13 Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 50:15
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 1:03
3. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 1:31
4. Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling at 1:35
5. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 1:45
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:54
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 2:00
8. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 2:02
9. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 2:05
10. Steve Cummings (GB) Dimension Data at 2:24
11. Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18 at 2:31
12. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff at 2:32
13. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 2:34
14. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling at 2:38
15. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:48
16. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 2:50
17. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange at 3:01
18. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange
19. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 3:07
20. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:08
21. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
22. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team 0:03:13
23. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 3:15
24. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ at 3:23
25. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 3:29.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 13:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 58:02:51
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:47
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 2:45
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:59
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:17
6. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 3:19
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:04
8. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 4:27
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick Step at 5:03
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 5:16
11. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff at 5:24
12. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 5:48
13. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 5:54
14. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 6:25
15. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 6:48
16. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 8:23
17. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ at 11:41
18. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac at 12:28
19. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 15:40
20. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 at 19:02
21. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 20:00
22. Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek-Segafredo at 27:52
23. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 27:55
24. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 30:08
25. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 30:49.