Froome stamps authority on day of mourning

Thousands of people lined the 37.5-kilometer (23-mile) time trial route to La Caverne du Pont-D'Arc to celebrate the Tour and pay homage to the dozens killed and injured by a truck which drove through beachfront crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

Chris Froome of Great Britain riding for Team Sky rides during the stage thirteen of the Tour de France.   -  Getty Images

Amid reinforced security a day after the deadly attack in Nice, the Tour de France rolled on and defending champion Chris Froome extended his overall lead on Friday.

Thousands of people lined the 37.5-kilometer (23-mile) time trial route to La Caverne du Pont-D'Arc to celebrate the Tour and pay homage to the dozens killed and injured by a truck which drove through beachfront crowds celebrating Bastille Day. Froome finished second to Tom Dumoulin on the 13th stage, but ahead of all other general classification contenders. A time trial specialist, Dumoulin was in a league of his own but Froome limited his time loss to 63 seconds.

"It's terrible what happened and overshadows the day a lot," said Dumoulin, who also won a mountain stage last week in the Pyrenees. "So you're speaking to a man with two sides to his face today. Of course I'm happy with the win, but at the same time my thoughts are with everyone involved in the horrific attacks in Nice."

Froome leads Dutch rider Bauke Mollema by 1:47 overall, and fellow Briton Adam Yates was third, 2:45 back. Froome's main rival in the mountains, Colombian climber Nairo Quintana, was lagging by 2:59, and the first alpine stage was not until Sunday.

There was a minute's silence after the stage, as the yellow, green, and polka-dot jersey plus the stage winner gathered on the podium with bouquets.

"It's a very sad day," said Froome, who tweeted a picture of the French flag in the morning. "I'm affected by all the things that happened in France. My thoughts are with all the families affected by the attack. I want to express my solidarity with France."

Security had already been reinforced at the Tour this month, with France in a state of emergency since the Paris attacks last November. The three-week race is protected by an unprecedented force of 23,000 police officers, including SWAT-like intervention squads, while security guards perform bag checks and pat downs at the start and finish of every stage.

Mollema, who was involved in a crash with Froome inside the last kilometer on Mont Ventoux on Thursday, when a TV motorbike was forced to stop on the road because of fan congestion, said that his thoughts are with the people in Nice.

Froome was awarded the same time as Mollema, a decision that left Mollema unhappy. But the Dutch rider put his rivalry with Froome aside, and had a strong ride on the windy and narrow roads in the picturesque Gorges de l'Ardeche. Mollema was 1:54 behind Dumoulin, while Richie Porte, Tejay Van Garderen and Romain Bardet all lost ground to Froome.