Chris Froome offered his «deepest sympathies» to victims of the terrorist attack in Nice after strengthening his grip on the Tour de France’s yellow jersey.
Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin won Friday’s stage 13 time trial from Bourg Saint Andeol to La Caverne du Pont d’Arc while Froome set the second best time to add another minute to his cushion over second place.
But Froome had no interest in discussing the race, which took place in the wake of the attack which killed at least 84 people on Thursday night when a terrorist drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day along the Promenade des Anglais.
Although he attended the yellow jersey holder’s customary press conference after the stage, the Briton took no questions and instead gave a short statement.
«I think it’s pretty clear today everyone’s thoughts are with those affected down in Nice,» Froome said. «I think it’s difficult for us to even be here talking about the race with all that happening yesterday down in Nice.
«It’s somewhere pretty close to home for me, somewhere I do a lot of training, and to see the promenade the way it was yesterday evening with bodies over the road is horrific, horrific scenes.
«My deepest sympathies, my deepest condolences go out to those families who have lost loved ones in Nice.»
Team Sky have a training base in Nice, and several riders, including Froome and Geraint Thomas, live in nearby Monaco.
«You try not to think about it when you’re (racing) but certainly this morning when I woke up to the news it was devastating,» said Thomas after a ride good enough for seventh place on the day.
«It’s a huge tragedy. wholesale nfl jerseys It’s bad enough when you hear about it in places where you don’t live, but when you live just down the road it’s scary and it’s really sad that’s the world we live in today.»
Giant Alpecin’s time trial specialist Dumoulin won with a time of 50 minutes 15 seconds over the rolling 37.5km stage, with Froome 63 seconds off that pace.
But with Bauke Mollema the next best among the general classification contenders, Froome has seen his lead more than double just 24 hours after the chaotic scenes which saw him scrambling up Mont Ventoux on foot following a crash which broke his bike.
Trek Segafredo’s Mollema moved up to second overall, displacing Briton Adam Yates, but is one minute 47 seconds behind Froome.
After the stage, Froome was joined on the podium by the other jersey holders Yates in the young riders’ white, Peter Sagan in the points leaders’ green, and Thomas De Gendt in the king of the mountains’ polka dots as well as Dumoulin and several Tour officials to pay their respects to victims of the Nice attack.
Following Friday morning meetings with police, government, regional and security officials to discuss security arrangements, Tour director Christian Prudhomme vowed the race would continue «in sobriety and with dignity» and there was a visibly stronger security presence.
«We wish today to be dignified, in tribute to the victims,» Prudhomme said. «We are thinking about the families, we offer our condolences to everyone who has been affected, who has lost a loved one. To everyone who is injured, in flesh and in their being.
«We asked questions of ourselves, effectively.
«Everyone knows I’m not great at time trialling,» said the 23 year old, who also offered «prayers and sympathies» to the victims in Nice.
«I’m not 100 per cent sure how much time I lost but we’re here to fight another day. We’ll go into every stage as an opportunity to try to take some seconds back. The form is good, the sensations are good and we’ll fight all the way to Paris.»
Movistar’s Nairo Quintana, seen as Froome’s main rival, also lost out, slipping to two minutes and 59 seconds off yellow after finishing 20th.
The Colombian, second to Froome in 2013 and 2015, has generally been at his best in the third week of the Tour and vowed to continue the fight.
«My body responded better in the final part,» he said.
«I really suffered at first. I’m three minutes down in the GC, that’s a little far. I hope the legs will continue to be good. There are still a lot of mountains. I will try to attack like I’ve always done. I hope I will have the legs to do it. We’re going to try everything we can.»