Froome tight­ens the screws in Nice

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

CHRIS FROOME turned the screw on his Tour de France ri­vals when he took sec­ond place yes­ter­day’s windswept in­di­vid­ual time trial be­hind Tom Du­moulin as the race con­tin­ued un­der height­ened se­cu­rity and in a low- key mood af­ter the deadly Nice at­tack.

Or­gan­is­ers had de­bated whether the stage should be can­celled and of­fi­cials ob­served a minute’s si­lence be­fore the first rider went down the ramp. There was an­other minute of si­lence at the podium cer­e­mony af­ter the stage.

Dutch­man Du­moulin ( Gi­ant- Alpecin) clocked 50 min­utes 15 sec­onds, beat­ing Froome by 1: 03. The Bri­ton, how­ever, ex­tended his over­all race lead to 1: 47 over Dutch­man Bauke Mollema ( TrekSe­gafredo), who moved up to sec­ond but lost 51 sec­onds to the Team Sky rider.

Froome’s com­pa­triot Adam Yates ( Orica- Bike Ex­change) dropped from sec­ond to third, 2: 45 off the pace af­ter bat­tling strong head and cross­winds.

Colom­bian Nairo Quin­tana ( Mo­vis­tar) lost 2: 04 on the day to Froome, to slip from third to fourth over­all, 2: 59 off the pace ahead of a gru­elling fi­nal week in the Alps.

The 13th stage of the sig­na­ture event of the coun­try’s sport­ing sum­mer be­gan with its pub­lic­ity car­a­van – usu­ally play­ing loud mu­sic to en­er­gise the thou­sands lin­ing the route – si­lenced for the day.

A gun­man at the wheel of a heavy truck ploughed into a crowd cel­e­brat­ing France’s na­tional day in the south­ern city late on Thurs­day, killing at least 84 peo­ple and in­jur­ing scores in what pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande called a ter­ror­ist act.

“I woke up this morn­ing and learnt some­thing ter­ri­ble had hap­pened. It’s an ex­tremely sad day. So it was a stage with two sides,” said Du­moulin fol­low­ing his sec­ond stage win of the Tour af­ter he pre­vailed in a moun­tain- top fin­ish at Ar­calis, An­dorra last Sunday.

“There was a ques­tion this morn­ing whether we could start. And I think it was right to go on rac­ing. It’s hor­rific what hap­pened but we can­not let ter­ror­ists de­cide on how we should be liv­ing.

“Two hours be­fore my start it was de­cided to race and I de­cided to do ev­ery­thing I could to race well be­cause that’s the only thing I can do. I did a very good TT ( time trial). I did a good time. I can­not say any­thing about the oth­ers. It was a very good TT for me per­son­ally.”

French­man Thibaut Pinot, who was third in the 2014 Tour de France but dropped out of con­tention in the first moun­tain stage this year, aban­doned the race yes­ter­day be­cause of ill­ness.

Froome lacked the juice to beat time trial spe­cial­ist Du­moulin but showed no ill ef­fects of the crash he suf­fered in Thurs­day’s 12th stage, when he re­tained the yel­low jersey thanks to a jury de­ci­sion. – Reuters

A STAGE WITH TWO SIDES: Tom Du­moulin lays flow­ers for the vic­tims of the lat­est ter­ror­ist at­tack in France.

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