Wednesday 18 July 2018 - 18:03

Alaphilippe keeps Tour de France KOM lead

Alaphilippe keeps Tour de France KOM lead

On a day with four classified climbs and a summit finish, our rider honored the polka dot jersey by going into the breakaway.

Less than 24 hours after soloing to a wonderful victory in Le Grand-Bornand, on the back of a showcase of intelligence, strength and panache that won him plenty of admirers, Julian Alaphilippe hit again the spotlight at the Tour de France by making it again into the front group, this time with the help of teammates Philippe Gilbert and Niki Terpstra, who expertly paced him on the first kilometers of the 108.5km stage between Albertville and La Rosière.

Montée de Bisanne was the first hurdle of the day and it was there that the 26-year-old Frenchman attacked to bridge to the five men in the front, bringing his contribution to the chase, before putting in a searing out-of-the-saddle acceleration 500 meters from the top and claiming 20 points which ensured his reign into the polka dot jersey will continue for at least one more day.

Eventually, Tuesday's effort took its toll on Julian, who waved goodbye to the breakaway on the grueling Col du Pré, where also other riders from the front group got dropped, as a injection of pace in the peloton shaved off more than a minute from the escapees' advantage before they even crested the Hors Catégorie climb, which preceded Cormet de Roselend and La Rosière, a stage finish for the first time at Le Tour.

There, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels got dropped from the main group after a furious injection of pace, but gave everything to limit the losses and remain within reach of the top 10 overall, crossing the line at the end of the day less than five minutes down on stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), also the new race leader.

"I am tired, because we rode full gas all day long and I was still feeling some pain in the legs after yesterday. My goal at the start of the stage was to go into the break and collect maximum points on the first HC climb, and I'm glad I did that and got to keep this nice jersey for another day. I will now try to recover and see what Thursday's tough stage to Alpe d'Huez will bring", said Julian Alaphilippe after the race's second foray into the Alps.

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images