TdF 13: Fast Dreams and Nightmare

Not the usual mood. Hard to get excited. Last night a man launched his truck on innocent people gathered in Nice for the 14th of July fireworks and killed more than 80. As far as we know it seems an act of individual insanity more than a terrorist attack but political power has been fast to use it to prolong the special laws ending in few days.
Not the usual protocol too. 
But a great time trial, won by a blasting Tom Dumoulin on a superb Chris Froome who extended his leadership and marked by the stunning performance of  Bauke Mollema who is now 2nd in the GC.
Unfortunately Edward Theuns crashed out and is seriously injured (a fractured vertebra). Julian Alaphilippe also crashed.

Tom Dumoulin:
"Of course I'm happy with the win but my thoughts go out to everyone affected by the attack in Nice."

Bauke Mollema:
"Must have been my best TT ever. Happy with today's result! "

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 a d 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.”

Wilco Kelderman:
"Sport is not that important, we are so busy with cycling, but then you read something like that. It's about people's lives, and that's terrible. "

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

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.”

Photo published for Theuns keert terug naar Belgiƫ: "Operatie in Gent"Maciej Bodnar:
"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."

Edward Theuns:
"I am very disappointed because I was feeling good and was going okay and now suddenly everything comes to a stop. The pain is not bad at the moment, but I am tensed to not move my body and it's very uncomfortable. The pain is okay, but I am a little nervous about the operation. I was feeling good in the TT, having a good tempo, and my legs felt good. I was planning to ease back more at the end because I had made a good tempo until then. I came into a downhill corner around kilometer 23 and the wind grabbed my wheel and I had to correct a little and went off the road. I thought I had it, but then hit a tree trunk on the ground and went over my bike and landed quite hard. I directly felt that my back was not okay." 

Tony Martin:
"To be honest, I felt pretty tired after yesterday and the wind was very strong out on the course, making everything more dangerous, in particular on the downhill. I'm not looking for any excuses, just for some reasons so I can make a better analysis of my ride and of the result I got. After two weeks in the race, every power output counts and I suffered today on some parts of the parcours".

Dan Martin:
"Safety first, that was my motto today. After hearing that Julian hit the ground, I went with a normal wheel instead of a disc one, at the cost of losing some seconds. Today, the wind definitely didn't favour the light guys, so considering this and the fact that I focused more on my climbing this year, I'm happy with this result. My goal is to make it into the mountains in one piece and healthy, because my legs are good and I'm confident."

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.”

Chris Froome: 
"This is definitely a time for people to stand together. It puts things into perspective for us here at the race. 
I'm happy with how it went on the bike, but the atmosphere here, and everyone's thoughts here are with those affected down in Nice. It's a special place for me, near to where I'm based, and I just can't imagine what those people are going through down there."

Geraint Thomas:
"I paced it alright I think, it's just that real fight at the end, when you've got tired legs anyway, it's tough going.
I wanted to go and give it a good trot. It's always good to try and ride them well, as well as getting a good result and pace it properly. It's all good practice.
It was bumpy at times, gusty winds, but with the wheels I had in it was ok. That sort of effort for that distance in this position you rarely do, so it's good to give it a go. Nice certainly was on my mind this morning when I woke up. It's so sad. Terrible really, things like that shouldn't happen. I can't believe that's the world we live in today, and it puts bike racing into perspective really. My thoughts go out to everyone affected."

Steve Cummings:
"It was a bit of a tricky time trial course because of the strong winds that blew throughout the day. Time trial bikes aren't the biggest fans of super strong crosswinds. Starting early, my plan was just to give it my 100% and that is what I did." 

Alejandro Valverde:
“We did as much as we could today. I think I fared well today; obviously, it was nowhere near to Dumoulin’s fantastic performance, but I kept the same line of the main GC contenders but Froome and Mollema. We’re still committed to the work we were supposed to do in this Tour de France. I feel satisfied: I showed again that I’ve improved in the TTs and got used to the new Canyon pretty easily - there’s nothing I can complain about today, just hope for Nairo to finish this off well.”

Nairo Quintana:
“I gave everything that was inside me. Wind was blowing so hard in the beginning that it seemed logical that, with my weight and body form, I would be losing more time against the other GC guys. In the finale, my legs responded better and I got back some time. I kept jush pushing on full steam, all the time, but it was just that I responded better into the second half of the TT; the gusts really hit me in the beginning. I’m trailing by quite a bit in the overall, but I hope that my legs get better. There’s still a lot of mountains to come and I hope I can recover some.”

1 Dumoulin 
2 Froome +1:03 
3 Oliveira +1:31 
4 Coppel +1:35 
5 Dennis +1:41
6 Mollema +1:54 
7 Thomas +2:00 
8 Izaguirre +2:02

1 Froome 
2 Mollema +1:47 
3 Yates +2:45 
4 Quintana +2:59 
5 Valverde +3:17 
6 van Garderen +3:19 
7 Bardet +4:04
8 Porte +4:27

Yellow Froome 

White Yates 
Polka dot De Gendt 
Green Sagan 

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