MACON – SAINT ETIENNE
Thomas De Gendt won Saturday’s Tour de France eighth stage with a solo breakaway as home hero Alaphilippe thrillingly won back the yellow jersey a day ahead of the Day national In a breath-taking finish, defending champion Geraint Thomas survived spectacular fall, but lost time to title rival Thibaut Pinot in the standings.
Former soldier Alaphilippe took the overall lead on stage three with stunning solo break but lost it to Italy’s Giulio Ciccone at the Planche Belles Filles mountain slog on However, with 15km to go on Saturday, Alaphilippe and Pinot combined drop the peloton in a desperate bid to get back the yellow jersey and Pinot to take time in the overall on his title rivals.
They could not catch De Gendt, the Belgian who won by six seconds, but Ciccone by 20 seconds for Alaphilippe to regain the yellow and wear it Sunday for the July 14 festivities.
The last French rider to be in yellow for Bastille Day fireworks was Gallopin in 2014.
Saturday’s stage was a notable success for FDJ captain Pinot, who was ecstatic after climbing to third in the overall standings behind Alaphilippe and Ciccone.
|1||DE GENDT Thomas||Lotto Soudal||5:00:17|
|2||PINOT Thibaut||Groupama – FDJ||0:06|
|3||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||Deceuninck – Quick Step||,,|
|4||MATTHEWS Michael||Team Sunweb||0:26|
|5||SAGAN Peter||BORA – hansgrohe||,,|
|7||MEURISSE Xandro||Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team||,,|
|8||VAN AVERMAET Greg||CCC Team||,,|
|9||BERNAL Egan||Team INEOS||,,|
|10||THOMAS Geraint||Team INEOS||,,|
Check out www.roadbikeaction.com for full 2019 Tour de France stage recaps.