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TdF #17: The world’s strongest man

July 21, 2013

The individual time trial was quite short in distance but tricky with two big climbs and two descents. The weather looked like it would play a part with a shower or two, but in the end it did not make an impact. Froome won the stage even though he probably did not go full out and beat Contador by 9s. There was plenty of talk and speculation about bike changes but Froome was just stronger.

Rodriguez put in an amazing ride and was only 10s behind Froome. His loss is typically measured in minutes in a time trial. Quintana also put in a solid time and moved up in the standings. Mollema was a loser on the day and lost over 2m. His hitting the barrier near the end was an indication of his desperation to keep in touch.

There were also some baffling performances. Schleck finished high up although he has little chance of doing well on GC. Perhaps he was just showing the world that he might return to the top some day. He is also looking for a contract next season, so that might have been a motivation. Valverde’s ride was strange. Why work so hard for fifth place when he has no chance of doing well on GC and had next to no chance of winning the stage? He will need energy to support his team mates in the remaining stages. Has he forgotten that he lost over 10m a day or two ago?

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