Tour de France leader Chris Froome believed the time trial from Embrun to Chorges would be a case of damage limitation – instead it was near maximum destruction.
The 28-year-old was the final rider to tackle the undulating 32km course with Spaniard Alberto Contador the man to beat after he clocked a time of 51:42minutes.
Froome was 11 seconds down on Contador at the third intermediate check after stopping to swap his road bike for a time trial one but that wasn’t the case for long.
He blitzed the remainder of the course to cross home nine seconds quicker than Contador in 51:33 and seal his third stage success of this year’s Tour de France.
With it his lead at the top of the standings grew to 4:34 and Froome couldn’t quite comprehend what he managed to pull off in the time trial from Embrun to Chorges.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got over the line and saw that I had the fastest time,” he said. “I went into it thinking I was going to try and limit my losses – thinking about the days to come.
“To go through the finish line with the fastest time – I didn’t see that coming. I really didn’t think the weather was going in my direction.
“I had a bit of rain on the second descent. Luckily the first one had dried up by the time I got there so I was really happy with that.”
© Sportsbeat 2013