CYCLING
image

Tour de France 2015

Froome widens lead over rivals in time trial

British ace tightens his grip on yellow jersey with the second fastest ride of the day, while Cavendish gets urine thrown in his face

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 5:40am

Britain's Chris Froome extended his overall lead in the Tour de France after finishing second in the stage 11 time trial behind hot favourite Tony Martin yesterday.

German world time trial champion Martin, who suffered concussion in a mass crash on the race's first stage, blasted round the flat 33-kilometre course in 36 minutes, 29 seconds.

Froome, adorned in the race leader's yellow jersey, was the last man down the start ramp and was two seconds quicker than Martin at 22km.

But the Team Sky rider could not maintain the pace pedalling into a headwind over the latter part of the stage and finished 12 seconds down on Martin, with Belgian Thomas De Gendt third.

 

Froome was the only rider to get within a minute of Martin. Froome, Olympic time-trial bronze medallist, was the big winner of the day, though, gaining two minutes on his nearest rival in the race standings and now leads Spain's Alejandro Valverde by 3:25.

Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands remains third overall 3:37 back with twice Tour champion Alberto Contador fourth at 3:54.

Meanwhile, British star Mark Cavendish had urine thrown at him by a spectator during the stage, his team confirmed.

The incident happened a day after Cavendish was blamed for a collision that sent Argos rider Tom Veelers crashing to the ground in Saint-Malo. "Probably some spectators were not very pleased with what happened yesterday and they yelled to him and then one other idiot threw urine at him," Omega Pharma team chief executive Patrick Lefevere said.

"Mark is not upset, but he is really disappointed because he thinks he didn't deserve this."

Lefevere was unable to confirm when exactly the incident had occurred, but sought to play down its importance.

"The cycling public is known for being very fair, we have no hooligans, but there are thousands and thousands of people on the roads and not everybody is a gentleman," the Belgian added.

Cavendish escaped without punishment following Tuesday's clash with Veelers, which happened during a sprint for the line won by German rider Marcel Kittel. Veelers pinned the blame on the British champion.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse