Tour de France 2013 stage 11 | Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel (ITT)
Event: 10 July 2013
Report: Simon Powers
Image: Laurent Cipriani/AP/Press Association Images
Chris Froome defended his position as overall race leader, keeping hold of the yellow jersey after an impressive ride in the individual time trial on stage 11 of the Tour de France.
The 28-year-old British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme rider extended his lead over Alejandro Valverde after taking the stage win at Mont Saint-Michel off the north west coast of France. He gained a further two minutes on his nearest rival and now leads the Tour de France by more than three minutes overall.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Tony Martin had been in the hot seat ever since he set off in 65th place and had kept a tight hold on the lead. It wasn’t until Froome set off in 182nd place some four and a half hours later that all this started to change. By the first time checkpoint at 9Km Froome was up by 1 second and by the second checkpoint the team sky rider was up by a further second.
Due to the increasing headwind however, Froome struggled to hold onto this lead and eventually crossed the line in second place 12 seconds behind the German. Although Martin proved the fastest finisher, the result saw Froome’s advantage at the top of the overall standings extended to 3min25sec.
Immediately after his ride, Froome said: “I am really happy with that result. Tony did a fantastic ride to win the stage, and he really deserves that. As world champion, the time trial is his speciality.
“I am really happy with second place and having extended my advantage on the other big GC rivals."
Explaining his late time losses to Tony Martin, the 28 year old added: “There was a really strong headwind towards the end. That last couple of kilometres I was really struggling to turn my legs. I was just trying to get to the finish. That still gives me a good buffer going into the next few days though, and I think I am going to need every second I can get the way everyone is riding."
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Mark Cavendish, was the victim of an unsavoury incident which saw urine thrown at him by a roadside spectator.
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step 36:29"
2. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky +12"
3. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil +1:01"
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky +1:21"
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step +1:31"
Overall standings after stage 11:
1. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 42:29:24"
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +3:25"
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin +3:37"
4. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff +3:54"
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff +3:57"