Alaphilippe reclaims Tour de France yellow jersey after brutal attack

14 Juillet, 2019, 05:42 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Julian Alaphilippe back in yellow

France's Julian Alaphilippe celebrates his overall leader's yellow jersey on the podium of the eighth stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Macon and Saint-Etienne, in Saint-Etienne, eastern France, on July 13, 2019.

Saturday's stage was a notable success for FDJ captain Pinot, who was ecstatic after climbing to third in the overall standings behind Alaphilippe and Ciccone.

In the morning, Ineos team principal Sir Dave Brailsford had suggested Thomas was in the form of his life, saying "he's as good, if not better, than he's ever been".

"I couldn't dream of anything better than riding in yellow jersey on Bastille Day tomorrow", admitted Alaphilippe.

Alaphilippe and Pinot launched their move on the final climb but could not reel him in. Moscon's bike was split in two but Thomas was able to get quickly back on his way, catching up to the peloton on the last of the day's seven categorised climbs.

Alaphilippe went over the mountain in second position behind De Gendt, claiming five precious bonus seconds to turn his deficit to Ciccone into a 23-second lead over the Italian, with Pinot in third place, 53 seconds off the pace.

De Gendt said, "I nearly crashed in a few corners but I made it".

"I was trying to catch my bike because one policeman took my bike away so it was very hard to get back on the bike".

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"The good thing is I had good legs to be able to (catch up)", he said.

Echoing former teammate Porte, Thomas highlighted the threat that the French pair pose heading into the second week.

Thomas was involved in another crash during the opening stage last week in Belgium. Woods later rode in with torn shorts.

The last French rider to be in yellow for Bastille Day fireworks was Tony Gallopin in 2014.

Australian Michael Matthews led the peloton home in fourth spot, paying credit to his team after they engineered the chase for an elusive stage win. "I've had very good feeling already for the whole Tour and I had unbelievable legs today".

"The [general classification] teams took over midway through the day and tried to help and bring the break back ... we started pulling straight away to bring back the three guys ahead but unfortunately we fell just short".

But stage success belonged to breakaway specialist De Gendt, who delivered his second career Tour stage win in some style. Working well with Pinot, they went all out in the downhill and kept the pressure on in the final kilometers leading to Saint-Etienne's Geoffroy Guichard soccer stadium.

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