While the winds of stage 13 were calm in comparison to the previous day's racing at the Tour de France which saw the shortening of the Mont Ventoux finish, the conditions for the 37.5km time trial from Bourg-Saint-Andéol to Pont-d'Arc ensured another tough day in the saddle. LottoNL-Jumbo's Wilco Kelderman was one of the riders targeting the first of two time trials in this year's Tour with the parcours suited to his characteristics, but the former Dutch champion against the clock was found out with his choice of equipment complicating his ride.
"It was worthless, as you can see," said Kelderman of the stage in which he finished 45th, 4:57 minutes down on compatriot Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).
"It is very disappointing. Those cross-winds made it dangerous. I was really scared in the downhill."
With the windy conditions out on course, some riders opted for full aero set ups with rear-disc wheels and deep dish or tri-spoke front wheels. While Kelderman went for the aero set up, he saw little benefit in his choice of equipment.
"You want to be fast, so you've to choose a three-spoke front wheel and a disc rear. If you want to win you have to go for the fastest option," he added.
LottoNL-Jumbo's performance manager Mathieu Heijboer described the stage result as dissatisfactory, adding that he and the team will look over the performance to try and understand what happened out on the road for the 25-year-old.
"This is a very disappointing result," Heijboer said. "The only positive is that he stayed upright. From the car, we quickly saw that it was not good. We went for a top 10 place and I'm sure he can do it, but after the first intermediate point his time was already so bad that we decided for staying safe.
"It is clear that this day did not go well for Kelderman. We have to analyse it, and not look too far ahead."
Kelderman explained that the attack on Nice on the Promenade des Anglais, where the Paris-Nice race finishes, the night before the time trial placed the race into perspective of the wider world outside the Tour de France bubble.
"Sport is not that important, we are so busy with cycling, but then you read something like that," Kelderman said. "It's about people's lives, and that's terrible."