Tour de France: Thomas De Gendt Wins the 8th Stage, Julian Alaphilippe Takes over the Yellow Jersey

Tour de France
Tour de France: Thomas De Gendt wins the 8th stage, Julian Alaphilippe takes over the yellow jersey

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe regained the yellow jersey of the Tour de France on Saturday (July 13th) in Saint-Etienne, attacking with Thibaut Pinot 10 kilometres from the finish.

A firework ! The French Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck) took over the yellow jersey of the Tour de France on Saturday in Saint-Etienne, after the 8th stage dominated by Belgian Thomas De Gendt (Lotto), the hero of a long breakaway.

Alaphilippe attempted a coup in the last steep hill, 13 kilometres from the finish, followed by Thibaut Pinot. The two Frenchmen have joined the finish at 6 seconds of the winner, escaped since leaving to Mâcon.

Julian Alaphilippe now has 23 seconds ahead of former leader Giulio Ciccone of Italy and 53 seconds over Pinot. For the French, euphoria is in order!

“I’m glad we did this number together”

Pinot, second in the stage ahead of Alaphilippe, distances his rivals from the overall standings by 20 seconds. He reached third place with 19 seconds ahead of Welsh champion Geraint Thomas.

Thomas fell in a downhill section, 15 kilometres from the finish, with several of his teammates. The Welshman was forced to make a big effort to return to the group of favourites in the final climb, before the Alaphilippe attack.

Frenchman Julian Alaphille takes the leader jersey of the Tour de France on July 13, 2019 at the end of the 8th stage.
Frenchman Julian Alaphille takes the leader jersey of the Tour de France on July 13, 2019 at the end of the 8th stage. (© AFP / Marco Bertorello)

The defending champion crossed the line in the wheel of Colombian Egan Bernal, in the group of favourites set for 4 th place by Australian Michael Matthews.

“It was a magnificent final,” said Alaphilippe, who had to give up his yellow jersey to Giulio Ciccone on Thursday at the top of La Planche des Belles Filles. “I had nothing to lose, I had to try everything for the whole thing. ”

“It was nice to go together with Thibaut,” added the world number one.

“The public appreciated to see a good agreement between the French riders even if one is in different teams. We had common interests. I did not think at all about winning, I just thought about taking time. We did a good deal of cranks. I’m glad we did this issue together.”

Thomas De Gendt: a monumental raid

Thomas De Gendt has concluded a monumental breakaway of 200 kilometers. Party with the Italian Alessandro De Marchi as well as by the Dutchman Niki Terpstra and the American Ben King, then distanced, the Belgian fighter has performed a very high level performance in this very demanding stage, in the form of a roller coaster, by Monts du Beaujolais then Lyonnais.

The quartet had a five-minute lead and the peloton, led by two teams (Sunweb, Bora), started to narrow the gap. The Alaphilippe team set to work, 85 kilometres from the finish line, but failed to make up for the handicap.

At the front, De Gendt and De Marchi have left their companions 70 kilometres from Saint-Etienne. The Belgian was then isolated in the last hill, 14 kilometres from the line, where the Italian Vincenzo Nibali got up. A sign of abdication for the winner of the Tour 2014, second of the last Giro.

The Belgian Thomas De Gendt wins the 8th stage of the Tour de France on July 13, 2019
The Belgian Thomas De Gendt wins the 8th stage of the Tour de France on July 13, 2019. (© AFP / JEFF PACHOUD)

In front of the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium, De Gendt triumphed for the second time in the Tour, three years after his success of the Ventoux eclipsed by the misadventure of Chris Froome who had travelled part of the final … on foot.

“I do not win often but I win beautiful things,” said De Gendt (32), a regular long breakaway, stage winner on the three great tours.

Sunday, the day of National Day, the 9th stage through the Massif Central, a mountainous route over the 170.5 kilometres between Saint-Etienne in Brioude.

With a very steep springboard after 36 kilometres but a final less difficult to reach the city of Auvergne Romain Bardet.

Read also: Tour de France: Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen win

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