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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, July 16, 2016

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Tour de France stage 13 news

Here's the report from stage winner Tom Dumoulin's Giant-Alpecin squad

Tom Dumoulin (NED) raced to victory in the time trial of the Tour de France, taking his second win of the Tour after his victory on stage 9 to Andorra.

Stage 13 of the Tour de France was an individual time trial of 37.5km from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc. Dumoulin was the fastest on the tough parcours, with a time of 50’15” and an average pace of around 44.7km/h.

Tom Dumoulin (NED): "It's a day of two halves. I'm very happy with the win but my thoughts go out to everyone affected by the horrific attack in Nice. This morning we woke up to the terrible news and I had to get into my zone and focus on the time trial. It is terrible what happened today and it shadows the day a lot. I think we cannot let terrorists decide our lives in our society.

"During the recon which I did behind John [Degenkolb] in the team car I noticed there were a couple of tricky moments with the cross winds so I was well prepared and aware of it. Therefore we decided to race with a normal front wheel.

"Throughout the course anyway the wind was very dangerous and very hard to cope with. In the final run in there was one dangerous moment where I almost went off the road.

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin riding to his stage 13 victory

"Overall it was a very good time trial and it shows that I am in good shape at the moment. During the last two days I was not feeling so well, but today I had good legs. I was able to enjoy the ride today and I was able to concentrate on my performance. I know I can pick my days during the Tour and go for a good result, and today's victory gives me a lot of confidence."

Marc Reef (NED): "This is super and we are really pleased. Everything went perfectly today just like we planned. We are proud of the performance of Tom and of the whole team. We were feeling positive about today and with new aerosuit we proved that challenging the tiny margins are worth it. Tom checked it one time in the car upfront with John [Degenkolb], especially how John would cope in the wind because we knew the wind was pretty strong.

"From the moment he started you could see that Tom had power in his legs and he was ready for it. Throughout the time trial, he remained very concentrated in his effort and did a very good performance. On the intermediate points, he already had a gap over his competitors, and then he just continued and kept on pushing until the finish line. Tom has shown today he is an incredible talent."

Here's BMC's Tour report:

15 July, 2016, La Caverne Du Pont-D'Arc (FRA): The first time trial of the Tour de France saw Rohan Dennis finish in fifth place and Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte both move into the top ten on the General Classification after finishing 16th and 21st respectively.

The already technical 37.5 kilometer course was made even more difficult by strong winds that played a big role in determining finish times.

Dennis set the provisional best time early in the day and was in the hot seat, before being overtaken by a handful of riders including eventual winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant Alpecin). Van Garderen and Porte were some of the last riders to leave the start ramp, finishing 2'50" and 3'08" back from Dumoulin.

The General Classification standings going into stage 14 see van Garderen sitting in sixth place, 3'19" back from race leader Chris Froome (Team SKY), and Porte 4'27" behind.

Tejay van Garderen

Tejay van Garderen going deep in stage 13

Rohan Dennis: "After 3 or 4 kilometers I almost called it quits. I thought that today was not my bad so I'll just drop the power a little bit and get over the climb and try to settle in. I felt a lot better in the second half. I might be the fastest now but a lot of the guys before me were taking today as more of a rest day. I think it was a pretty challenging course and mid-way through a Grand Tour makes it even harder as well. We'll have to see how the GC guys go. Generally at a Grand Tour the time trial specialists aren't always the favorite. If there was less wind then I would say that the GC guys would be really strong today but generally the GC guys are a bit smaller and even myself being a little heavier than the climbers, I was still getting pushed around a bit."

Richie Porte: "It was such a hard time trial. You couldn't really hear anything on the radio so I was just riding off feel. It was so windy out there, I'm not really sure of my times or anything. I wasn't really happy with my sensations, it hurt a lot. Yesterday with the motorbike doesn't really help much either. We'll see how the other GC guys fare; I think that the battle was never against the big time trialists. There's still a few guys to come in so we'll see how it was from that. I'm a little bit sore from yesterday. It's quite disappointing to be honest. But I'm sure the race is not over yet."

Tejay van Garderen: "My time trial was about average. It wasn't one of the best ones I've ever had but the Tour de France is about consistency so I'll just keep chipping away. Hopefully throughout the third week if I can move up a couple of more places then we'll be sitting in a good place in Paris."

Here's what LottoNL-Jumbo had to say about the stage:

Wilco Kelderman finished disappointed in the Tour de France’s time trial to Le Caverne de Pont, 45th at 4-57 minutes behind winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).

"It was worthless, as you can see,” team LottoNL-Jumbo said after the 37.5-kilometre stage 13. "It is very disappointing. Those cross-winds made it dangerous. I was really scared in the downhill." He raced with a time trial front wheel despite the wind.  "You want to be fast, so you’ve to choose a three-spoke front wheel and a disc rear. If you want to win you have to go for the fastest option."

Wilco kelderman

Wilko Kelderman was disappointed with his stage 13 ride

"This is a very disappointing result," performance manager Mathieu Heijboer added. "The only positive is that he stayed upright. From the car, we quickly saw that it was not good. We went for a top 10 place and I'm sure he can do it, but after the first intermediate point his time was already so bad that we decided for staying safe. We directed him to ride safely rather than take risk for a top 30. "It is clear that this day did not go well for Kelderman. We have to analyse it, and not look too far ahead."

It was uncertain whether the stage would go ahead because of the terror attack in Nice. Kelderman had that in his head. "Sport is not that important, we are so busy with cycling, but then you read something like that," Kelderman said. "It's about people's lives, and that's terrible."

"It is unfortunate that it is not unique, it is yet another shock where you get scared," Sep Vanmarcke said. "I was not thinking about racing today. I just hope that nothing will happen again."

Tinkoff sent me this stage 13 report:

It was a subdued day at the Tour de France, where riders paid tribute to the people who died in Nice yesterday and teams gathered at the end of the day in memory of those who lost their lives. The Tour continued, showing the resilience of the French nation. Making his first appearance in the Polish national time trial champion’s colours, Maciej Bodnar held the hot seat during the morning, eventually finishing the day just outside the top ten in 12th spot, while Roman Kreuziger pushed hard to rise up to 11th from 14th in the GC standings.

Almost two weeks into the race, the first individual time trial of this year’s Tour was as hard as one would expect of the toughest and most historic stage race in the world, and was not a course that would suit the out and out time trial specialists. The 37.5km parcours took in climbs and winding roads, with riders challenged both by the difficulty of the course and the windy weather conditions, which caught out the riders with deep section rims and aero frames on a few occasions.

Sport Director, Steven De Jongh, saw just how tough the stage was from the team car. "The course was tough with the wind out there. It was even hard for the riders to keep control of the bike at times. The first climb started off in a head wind and then they had some cross winds and then another tough headwind stretch later on so you had to keep on top of it all the time."

Completing the course in 52’47”, Maciej Bodnar set the fastest time early on in the day. Maciej was wearing his Polish national time trial champion skinsuit for the first time and did both the Tinkoff and Polish colours proud, taking the hot seat, and held a top ten for much of the day before eventually finishing 12th.

The fastest Tinkoff rider of the day, Maciej was pleased with how the day turned out – particularly on the lengthy course. "It was a long and tough time-trial but I'm pleased with my performance and form, given the fact its profile didn't suit me. It was a race that favoured the climbers. With riders being spaced every two minutes, it was a long day and I started earlier in the morning. Yesterday, we also had a long day and a long transfer, which meant I had less time to recover than the riders that started later. The stage started with a 7km climb in which I chose not to go to my maximum potential as I wanted to be sure I would have the force to go faster in the second part. That's why I was able to recover part of the time I lost to the top competitors."

After a tough day yesterday, where racing was hazardous and the end of the stage slow due to crashes, finishing with a time of 53’28” Roman Kreuziger’s 22nd position moves him back up the GC standings to 11th from 14th. Roman performed well on a stage that suited his riding style, where some of his rivals in the GC race lost time.

Roman found the course tougher on his run, owing to the strong winds throughout the day, as De Jongh explained. "Roman did a really good time trial, as did Bodi who started earlier and set a good benchmark. I think that earlier today there was a little bit less wind, and when Roman was riding there was a lot more so that made it hard. If you look at his main opponents, he passed some of those around him and took back some time on GC so he can be happy with his TT. All the other guys finished safely without any problems.”

After the moment's silence held by all of the riders following the stage, Peter Sagan commented on the situation: "For us it was like a normal day as we are at the Tour de France, but it is very sad for the people that were involved. I don’t know what to think of it. We have to respect the people who died in Nice."

Tomorrow’s stage is long, with an undulating profile, but a flat finish to the 208.5km stage should suit Peter Sagan, who remains in the green jersey after today’s stage. Stage 14 is hilly, crossing three fourth category climbs, with some punchy ascents throughout the day. With his rivals tired out by the terrain, some of the all-rounders may well push for the win here. After the UCI World Champion’s stage-stealing performance at the end of stage 11, who knows what could happen? De Jongh saw that this would be a hard stage. "Tomorrow we have a long stage, 208km all headwind - it could be a long day in the office for the guys."

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