Tour de France: Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe wins Third Stage at Epernay

Tour de France
Julian Alaphilippe stage winner and yellow jersey of the Tour de France at Epernay, July 8, 2019.

Julian Alaphilippe won Monday 8th July 2019 the third stage of the Tour de France at Epernay and the yellow jersey. A first for a Frenchman since 2010.

Julian Alaphilippe made a double blow by winning the 3rd stage of the Tour de France, Monday 8th July 2019, in Epernay, and the yellow jersey, after a great style attack carried in the hillsides of Champagne.

The French team Deceuninck, world number one, went on the offensive in the wall of Mutigny, 16 kilometres from the finish. On the line, he preceded his first pursuers by about thirty seconds.

Alaphilippe, 27, won his third stage victory in the Tour. He is the first Frenchman to wear the yellow jersey since Tony Gallopin in 2014. And the first Frenchman since 2010 to make this double shot: the last time was Sylvain Chavanel at Spa.

For second place, at the top of the finish, Australian Michael Matthews set the sprint of the first pack, under a summer sun.

The breakaway of the day, launched from the 5th kilometre, brought together four Frenchmen (Yoann Offredo, Anthony Delaplace, Paul Ourselin, Stéphane Rossetto) and a Belgian (Tim Wellens). Helped by a favourable wind, the quintet got up more than six minutes in advance but the peloton still maintained the pressure.

Read also: Tour de France: the yellow jersey, a legend of one hundred years

“I did not think to isolate myself so far from the finish”

Wellens came out of the group at the entrance of the last 50 kilometres. He was taken back only 16 kilometres, at the top of the coast of Mutigny, he crossed in front just ahead of Alaphilippe, before stopping for puncture. He won the polka dot jersey for the best climber.

Alaphilippe appeared in this very stiff “wall” to darken downhill. He made sure of fifty seconds on the peloton, a margin that he preserved for the most part despite the final uphill.

For the first leg on the French territory, Alaphilippe took his third stage success in the Tour, one year after igniting the audience by winning a stage in the Alps, another in the Pyrenees and the polka dot jersey.

“I was very motivated to make a good stage, the course suited me well,” said Alaphilippe, very moved. “I was careful not to be trapped by the falls. I felt that it was not too bad in the legs, on the last difficult hill. But I did not think to isolate myself so far from the finish. When I saw that I had 30 seconds, I gave everything.

The first wearer of the yellow jersey, the Dutchman Mike Teunissen, dropped into the wall of Mutigny. He crossed the line almost five minutes late.

Tuesday, the sprinters find a favourable ground between Reims and Nancy. The course, 213.5 kilometres long, crosses Champagne and Lorraine to a final straight line of 1400 meters, with a curve to 280 meters.

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