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Tour de France: Froome takes charge as TT tests the overall contenders

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Chris Froome finished second behind Tom Dumoulin in the stage 13 time trial

Chris Froome finished second behind Tom Dumoulin in the stage 13 time trial
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Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome ride next to each other during stage 12 of the Tour de France

Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome ride next to each other during stage 12 of the Tour de France
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Chris Froome makes his move on Mont Ventoux.

Chris Froome makes his move on Mont Ventoux.
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Richie Porte crosses the finish line of stage 12 at the Tour de France

Richie Porte crosses the finish line of stage 12 at the Tour de France
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Nairo Quintana rides in the bunch during stage 12 at the Tour de France.

Nairo Quintana rides in the bunch during stage 12 at the Tour de France.
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Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) finished sixth in the stage 13 time trial and moved to second overall in the 2016 Tour de France.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) finished sixth in the stage 13 time trial and moved to second overall in the 2016 Tour de France.
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Richie Porte, Chris Froome and Bauke Mollema make their way through the crowds on Mont Ventoux

Richie Porte, Chris Froome and Bauke Mollema make their way through the crowds on Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

For Ax 3 Domaines in 2013 and La Pierre Saint Martin in 2015, read La Caverne du Pont d'Arc in 2016? There is still more than a week of the Tour de France to go and a whole mountain range yet to be traversed, of course, but there was a distinct sense in the Ardèche on Friday evening that Chris Froome (Team Sky) may already have landed the decisive blow in the battle for final overall victory in this year’s race.

If Froome is still most fearful of Quintana it’s perhaps because finishing any lower than the top step of the podium would be considered a disappointment for the Colombian, whereas you suspect Yates and Mollema would take a podium gladly.