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Julian Alaphilippe leads Tour de France again as Geraint Thomas has scare

14 July, 2019, 07:12 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • WATCH: Tour de France rider’s $12k bike SPLITS IN HALF during crash

Julian Alaphilippe is reunited with the yellow jersey.

They crossed the line six seconds behind De Gendt, but 20 seconds ahead of the bunch featuring defending champion Geraint Thomas, who suffered a scare 15 kilometres from the finish when he took a minor tumble.

Since achieving a third-place finish in 2014, Pinot has always struggled at his home race, and skipped it past year.

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

Pinot and Alaphilippe's raid was not quite enough to capture De Gendt, but it bore fruit, with Pinot gaining 28 seconds on his rivals for yellow, while Alaphilippe now holds yellow again with a margin of 23 seconds to the dethroned Ciccone.

"My career goal was to win the Giro di Lombardia and stages at all three Grands Tour", said Pinot, who won the Italian one-day classic race previous year.

Thomas is fifth, 1:12 off the pace.

Thomas De Gendt's masterful breakaway victory was the full stop on a memorably chaotic afternoon on the rollercoaster roads to Saint-Etienne that blew the peloton to smithereens.

"By the time I got up to the group I was gassed for a bit and obviously that's when they started to sprint away", said Thomas.

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"I'm fine but it was just frustrating", he said. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) " 4.

"I've been working hard for that, but it goes beyond my hopes", Alaphilippe said.

"It's annoying and frustrating but, at the same time, to come back like I did shows the legs are good", the Welshman said.

Thomas was involved in another crash during the opening stage last week in Belgium.

De Gendt's second career Tour stage triumph came as just reward as he remained the sole survivor of a four-man breakaway on the 200km ride from Macon to Saint-Etienne.

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.

"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".

Pinot, who has a love-hate relationship with the Tour having won a stage as the youngest rider in the race in 2012 but also experienced his most humiliating disappointments here, is happy to be taking part this year.

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