Alaphilippe breaks away to take overall Tour de France lead


Julian Alaphilippe produced a magnificent show of power in stage three on Monday to give France its first win and take the overall lead in the 2019 Tour de France.

The Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider gambled and attacked on the penultimate climb of the day, 15km from the finish in Epernay. He was strong enough to win by 23 seconds, despite a desperate effort from the pack to reel him in.

The crowd in the French Champagne region went wild as Alaphilippe rose in his saddle to swagger over the last steep climb, realising the overall leader’s yellow jersey was at stake.

At the line, the 27-year-old had maintained enough power to establish a 20 second lead over Belgian prodigy Wout van Aert in the overall standings. A lead he could hold for several days.

“I was really up for it today, so when I saw the chance I went all in,” said a red-faced Alaphilippe after his third ever stage win and his first yellow jersey. “It’s actually only starting to sink in now that I have the jersey,”.

The Tour crossed into France earlier in the stage after opening with two stages in Belgium.

“What a beautiful way to start the tour here in France,” he said. “Having this on my back is something I’ll never forget, its the recompense of everything I have done since I first got on a bike.”

Defending champion Geraint Thomas ended up 31 seconds off the pace at the end of the lung-busting final uphill stretch. The split occurred between Bernal and Thomas, who crossed the line in 12th and 13th place, respectively.

Overall, Bernal is now sixth, 40 seconds behind Alaphilippe with Thomas in seventh five seconds further back.

Tuesday’s fourth stage is a 213.5-km ride from Reims to Nancy with a likely bunch sprint finish.

Tour de France 2019 – stage 3 results (Binche – Épernay):

1Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


2Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)


3Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)


4Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)


5Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)


6Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)


7Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)


8Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert)


9Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)


10Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ)


11Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)


12Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)


13Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)


14Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)


15Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert)


16Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)


17Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)


18Alexey Lutsenko (Astana)


19Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)


20Michael Woods (EF Education First)



Tour de France 2019 – general classification after stage 3:

1Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


2Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)


3Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)


4George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)


5Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)


6Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)


7Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)


8Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


9Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)


10Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


11Michael Woods (EF Education First)


12Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ)


13Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First


14Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First)


15Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)


16Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)


17David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ)


18Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)


19Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb)


20Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)



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