MONT SAINT MICHEL, (Reuters) – 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.
German world time trial champion Martin, who suffered concussion in a mass crash on the race’s first stage, blasted round the flat 33-km 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, 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.