Thursday, 18 July 2013
#TDF13: Froome wins TT by 9 seconds – Huez the winner today?
Third stage victory for Chris Froome yesterday
Chris Froome won the mountain time trial yesterday but by a much closer margin than expected as he beat Alberto Contador by just nine seconds. Contador had been leading at the three intermediate checkpoints. Joaquin Rodriguez rode an fine TT finishing at 10 seconds behind Froome. Romain Other leading positions were Kreuziger (23 seconds), Alejandro Valverde (30 seconds), Nairo Quintana (1.11), Jakob Fuglsang (1.34), Andrew Talansky (1.41), Tejay Van Garderen (1.51) and Bauke Mollema (2.09). This takes Froome's stage total to four.
Yesterday Contador rode his best time trial for a number of years and will have been very disappointed not to win the stage having been ahead of Froome for most of the course. However, Sky are famous for their negative splits. Also Contador choose to not to change to a time trial bike at the top of the second mountain climb, whereas Froome and a number of other leading riders did and this may have cost Alberto. However, Froome was already reducing the gap between him and Contador by the third checkpoint.
One big loser of the day was Bauke Mollema who dropped from 2nd to 4th overall.The other was sadly Jean-Christophe Peraud, who crashed while out checking out the course early in the morning breaking his collarbone. Unfortunately he crashed at exactly the same place during the race doubtless doing further damage to his shoulder and having to retire from the race. Peraud was the leading French rider.
Today should be very exciting and great theatre with two ascents of l'Alpe d'Huez. I have ridden the Alpe once back in 1985 and although a tough climb as you go straight from flat into the climb I don't think it is as tough as the Ventoux, for instance. Doubtless this is very different when you are racing with many thousands of people packed all the way up the climb. We did also see the Tour go up here in 1986 when Greg Lemond and Bernard Hainault rode up together.