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Team Sky rider extends lead through third stage win of the race, a big three days ahead in the Alps

Chris Froome of Team Sky has taken his third stage win of the 2013 Tour de France in today's individual time trial from Embrun to Chorges, pipping Alberto Contador of Saxo-Tinkoff tby just 9 seconds. The Spaniard, who went less than 1 second quicker than compatriot Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha, the third fastest man today on the 32 kilometre course, moves second overall, leapfrogging Belkin's Bauke Mollema. The latter, already shipping around 2 minutes to Contador, lost precious seconds late on as he misjudged a bend.

Froome, who had to deal with rain on the final descent and seemed to be going slower than Contador, had swapped from a road bike to a time trial bike towards the end of the stage - something Contador did not do - and extends his overall lead by 20 seconds ahead of three big days in the Alps, starting with tomorrow's unprecedented and eagerly anticipated double ascent of Alpe d'Huez.

He finished 9 secionds ahead of Contador, winning the stage in a time of 51 minutes 33 seconds. Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team mate Roman Kreuziger moves up to third overall, with Mollema dropping to fourth. Movistar’s Nairo Quintana stays fifth on General Classification, and still leads the best young rider’s competition.

By the time the top ten riders in the overall standings headed out onto the course, BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen, winner last year of the white jersey that Quintana is now favourite to take in this 100th edition of the race, had set the quickest time of 53 minutes 24 seconds.

The American, winner of the Tour of California in May, has had a difficult Tour this time round, being injured in a couple of crashes in the opening week, and had started the day in 55th position overall, more than an hour off the race lead.

His would only turn out to be the 10th quickest time of the afternoon on a course which while not a mountain time trial in the pure sense of the term, did feature two Category 2 climbs before a fast descent to the finish.

First to go quicker was Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, his time of 52 minutes 3 seconds only beaten by Rodriguez, Kreuziger, Contador and Froome.

The hero of the day was undoubtedly AG2R La Mondiale’s Jean-Christophe Peraud, who was in 9th position on the General Classification this morning but fractured his right clavicle after crashing on a reconnaissance of the route this morning.

Heavily strapped up and with pain etched on his face, the former French national time trial champion tried to get round the course, but a crash with just 2 kilometres remaining, when he came down hard on the same side of the collarbone that had been fractured this morning, forced him to abandon the race.

The two riders who went into the penultimate day’s time trial of the 2011 Tour de France in Grenoble put in performances today that were the reverse of those that had decided the fate of that year’s race.

Two years ago, Andy Schleck ceded the race leader’s yellow jersey he had only taken 24 hours previously to Cadel Evans, but today the RadioShack Leopard rider, who has experienced a series of setbacks since fracturing his sacrum during a time trial stage of last year’s Critérium du Dauphiné, put in the 15th fastest time in a discipline that is not his forte.

BMC Racing’s Evans, on the other hand, usually strong against the clock, struggled again today, and to an even greater extent than he had done during May’s Giro d’Italia when during the Stage 18 mountain time trial, when he ceded around two and a half minutes to race winner Vincenzo Nibali of Astana.

Today, Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France after seizing the yellow jersey in that time trial in Grenoble, was more than 8 minutes slower than Froome, his time even beaten by Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, who was around half a minute quicker.

 

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

19 comments

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Cooks [496 posts] 4 years ago
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C'mon Decster...!!

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Lungsofa74yearold [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Poor old Bertie - even though he is an unrepentant 'steak eater', (which I can't stand), he's really having a go. I'm even beginning to warm to him for his 'never say die' attitude. Not something I ever thought I'd hear myself saying!?

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Decster [246 posts] 4 years ago
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Cooks wrote:

C'mon Decster...!!

Meh! another day at the TdF a doper wins a stage beating known dopers  37

The doper didn't even give a 100% and said he was surprised he won  37

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daviddb [134 posts] 4 years ago
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French Tv ( bless 'em) referring to Froome as winner as 'the white Kenyan' said with a knowing smile.

I wonder if Mr Inverdale has thought of pitching for a media job across the channel.

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Cooks [496 posts] 4 years ago
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i felt Peraud's pain through the TV.

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Colin Peyresourde [1818 posts] 4 years ago
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Decster has a point. Although we should reserve our scepticism - give the space to the moment, but not hide our doubts. I think that whatever else, Froome has still earned his moment. At least he has humility.

I have to say the Spanish Armada look like they are in full swing after their rest day. Fully doped and ready to go.....

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daddyELVIS [654 posts] 4 years ago
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Decster wrote:
Cooks wrote:

C'mon Decster...!!

Meh! another day at the TdF a doper wins a stage beating known dopers  37

The doper didn't even give a 100% and said he was surprised he won  37

how can you say such a thing without evidence?

what do you mean, you have experience, decent vision, and you know that pigs can't fly?

show me the positive test, I say, show me the positive!

and remember, crazy times up mountains was only a sign of doping last year. It no longer applies, because marginal gains are now marginally bigger than marginal, according to profit Brailsford.

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 4 years ago
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I really hope doping does not turn out to be a problem this year  37

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Stumps [3496 posts] 4 years ago
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banzicyclist2 wrote:

I really hope doping does not turn out to be a problem this year  37

The only doping this year is from some of the people on this forum  3

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swmlon [28 posts] 4 years ago
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Am I the only one who doesn't care whether they're doping or not and just wants to see good racing?

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Super Domestique [1615 posts] 4 years ago
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swmlon wrote:

Am I the only one who doesn't care whether they're doping or not and just wants to see good racing?

I'm not sure they'd have been so much talk of doping on this site if it wasn't for a couple of members who seem to have more of an issue with Sky than doping itself.

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northstar [1107 posts] 4 years ago
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lol ah yes, it's all anti-sky *yawns*

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bfslxo [144 posts] 4 years ago
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anti sky!
anti rapha!
doping??

i just wish i could climb Mont Ventoux even half as well as these guys

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Not KOM [79 posts] 4 years ago
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Well, avoiding the doping and the anti-Sky comments completely, I thought it was really good to see Andy Schleck put in a competitive time!

One wonders if his contract negotiations at the new Trek team are going to be affected by this ...

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swmlon [28 posts] 4 years ago
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Not KOM wrote:

Well, avoiding the doping and the anti-Sky comments completely, I thought it was really good to see Andy Schleck put in a competitive time!

One wonders if his contract negotiations at the new Trek team are going to be affected by this ...

I've always like Schleck, hope to see him back to his best. Though I don't know if he'll be riding for Trek, especially as they've ditched his brother

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d_jp [128 posts] 4 years ago
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Cooks wrote:

i felt Peraud's pain through the TV.

Me too - gutted for him & he was going pretty well, especially with the injury. All the best to him for a quick recovery!

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Leviathan [2735 posts] 4 years ago
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Froome should wear the yellow jersey AND polka dot shorts on the Alpe, Har-har-har bring on the hubris!!

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surfer35 [24 posts] 4 years ago
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Not sure I like the rule that allows bike swapping. Fair enough if there is a mechanical, but the swap should only be like for like.

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daviddb [134 posts] 4 years ago
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Bike swap faff - agreed. It rarely seemed to be a slick changeover either. Rider stops, car stops a bit later some several yards away - bloke jumps out and hoiks spare off the roof - gets it pointing the right way and trots over to rider and hoofs him off up the road. Not exactly F1 slicker-than-a-slick-thing is it?