The main problem for Team Sky is that Geraint Thomas has never finished better than 15th in a Grand Tour, as he often suffers a bad day.
But it was the yellow jersey wearer who pulled away to win the iconic Alpe d'Huez stage, delivering another emphatic statement of his General Classification credentials as he extended his lead over Froome to one minute and 39 seconds.
The only other man to have won a summit finish up here while leading the Tour de France is Lance Armstrong. Thomas is the first Briton to take the honours at the Alpe and the Welshman's name will now be immortalised on one of the plaques that mark each of those 21 famous switchbacks.
Ugly scenes involving Froome.
Thomas briefly appeared to lead out Froome but the four-time victor could not take advantage, so Thomas quickly moved back in control.
Despite a distinct lack of support from the French locals, Team Sky's Geraint Thomas remains in possession of the yellow jersey at this year's Tour de France.
Vincenzo Nibali, meanwhile, was not so lucky, as he crashed into a motorbike. I rode over his back wheel and managed to get back on.
Chris "Froome accelerated, I followed him".
"He should have been fighting for victory, " Thomas said of Nibali. "You expect professional athletes to play and entertain without being impacted on by the crowd".
Fellow Brit Chris Froome also managed a podium finish in a stage that took the riders 108.5km through the Alps from Albertville to La Rosière, crossing the line third to move up to second overall - almost 90 seconds behind Thomas.
The next truly decisive day could come on Stage 17, an outlier at just 40 miles long with a summit finish on the Col du Portet.
The speed of the peloton was steady enough for Luke Rowe to still be driving the pace, but Kruijswijk's advantage continued to go out - particular as he joined with Rolland in a strong group at the front on the Col de la Croix de Fer. Last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran abandoned the race prior to the start of the stage after failing to recover from injuries sustained in a crash on Sunday.
Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen and Colombian Fernando Gaviria, winners of two stages each, had no fuel left in the tank. Although Thomas is now the strongest rider on the race and deserves to be in yellow, he is still an unknown quantity when it comes to challenging for honours in a three-week race.