Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) took the Tour de France stage win on a day when celebrations seemed inappropriate. The Dutch national time trial champion carried the burden well, using his moment in the spotlight to put sport in its proper perspective and pay homage to the current suffering in France following the attack in Nice
The 25-year-old showed maturity beyond his years during Friday's post-stage interviews and ceremonies. It's a strength he may have gained facing the pressure of promise that came to him at a young age. He took his first professional win in 2014, not coincidentally in an individual time trial stage at the Criterium International. Two years later he's led two Grand Tours and is his country's hope for time trial gold at the 2016 Olympics.
Friday's race was a somber, business-like affair, but Dumoulin's serious dismantling of the field over the 37km course should have made a loud statement about his chances in Rio; his Olympic rivals surely took notice. Dumoulin beat runner-up Chris Froome (Team Sky) by more than a minute. Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), another favourite for the Olympic time trial, was 1:41 down in fifth.
Dumoulin's grace on the podium and achievement on the road during stage 13 make him an easy choice for Cyclingnews Rider of the Day.
Daniel Benson says: For a rider whose mother tongue is not English, Tom Dumoulin certainly found the perfect way to express what a community and a sport were going through at the end of the time trial. In excellent English, and with the most accurate tone, the Dutch time trialist married together his modesty and sorrow to express how sport became secondary after Thursday's terror attack in Nice.
Before the stage start Christian Prudhomme addressed the public, stating that the race would continue. ASO's toned-down podium celebrations, the minute's silence and the sight of the winners' flowers being left on the ground as a mark of respect were touching to say the least, but when we needed a winner to shoulder responsibility Dumoulin stepped forward. His words were true, they expressed loss, and they were defiant. Out on the road he let his legs do the talking, but after his victory he spoke from the heart, and that's what today's stage at the Tour will be remembered for.
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