- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

CHAMROUSSE, France (AP) - Scorching hot temperatures continued to fry riders on the Tour de France, with another sweltering day in the saddle for race leader Vincenzo Nibali as he extended his lead during Stage 13. Others were not so fortunate, such as Australia’s Richie Porte, who dropped out of overall contention more than 11 minutes back and left his once mighty Team Sky looking for a new purpose at the Tour.

Here are five things to know about the Tour on Friday:

MOMENT OF SILENCE: The Tour de France briefly came to a halt Friday as riders and race followers held a moment of silence in honor of the 298 people on the Malaysian Airlines jetliner shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.

Before the start of the day’s stage in Saint-Etienne the 177 riders still in contention stood silently over their bikes and the normally boistrous crowd of fans and onlookers joined them in a minute of quiet reflection.

The plane was brought down by what authorities say was a surface-to-air missile fired from a rebel-held area of eastern Ukraine.

Because the plane took off from Amsterdam, most of those killed were Dutch headed for Kuala Lumpur. Dutch squads Belkin and Giant Shimano wore black armbands over their cycling jerseys in an additional mark of respect for those killed in the attack.

BARDET IN WHITE: 23-year-old Frenchman Romain Bardet and his rival for the White Jersey, fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, 24, continued their fight in the best young rider race, with each finishing the stage with reason to be happy.

Pinot narrowed his gap with Bardet, crossing the line half-a-minute ahead of his rival.

Bardet meanwhile kept the distinctive white jersey for top rider under 25 for a fourth consecutive day. The young AG2R team climber, riding his second Tour, has kept a low-profile but that would change overnight if he manages to keep his current podium spot all the way to Paris. The last time a Frenchman stood on the Tour’s final podium was 17 years ago, when Richard Virenque finished 2nd in the 1997 Tour.

Bardet finished Friday’s stage in seventh place, crossing the line 1 minute 23 seconds alongside 2012 White Jersey winner, American Tejay van Garderen.

Bardet, who finished 15th in his first Tour last year, said he’s suffered in the scorching heat Friday in the Alps. “It was suffocating, I felt like I was in a furnace,” Bardet said.

PLAN C FOR SKY: Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford says the British squad will keep up its fighting spirit, even after Richie Porte’s disappointing drop off the podium Friday.

Brailsford took a barrage of criticism for coming to the Tour without 2012 champion Bradley Wiggins. He now sees himself forced to look for a plan C, after original leader Chris Froome crashed out in Stage 5 and Plan B rider Porte plunged to 16th place from 2nd overall on the torrid ascent to the Chamrousse ski station.

Asked after the race how to explain Porte’s collapse, Brailsford said “I don’t know is the honest answer. That wasn’t the Richie that we’ve seen for the first part of the race.”

The Welshman promised that even decapitated of a second leader, Team Sky is “not going to just roll over.”

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