The riders at the 2019 Tour de France got their first taste of the mountains on Stage 3 on Monday. And it was Julian Alaphilippe who whizzed his way home, taking the stage and yellow to boot.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider gambled and attacked on the penultimate climb of the day, 15km from the finish in Epernay and was strong enough to win by 23 seconds, despite a desperate effort from the pack to reel him in.
Tour de France 2019: Stage 3 – Top Ten
|1||Julian Alaphilippe||Deceuninck – Quick – Step||04h 40′ 29”|
|2||Michael Matthews||Team Sunweb||04h 40′ 55”|
|3||Jasper Stuyven||Trek – Segafredo||04h 40′ 55”|
|4||Greg Van Avermaet||Ccc Team||04h 40′ 55”|
|5||Peter Sagan||Bora – Hansgrohe||04h 40′ 55”|
|6||Matteo Trentin||Mitchelton – Scott||04h 40′ 55”|
|7||Sonny Colbrelli||Bahrain – Merida||04h 40′ 55”|
|8||Xandro Meurisse||Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team||04h 40′ 55”|
|9||Wout Van Aert||Team Jumbo – Visma||04h 40′ 55”|
|10||Thibaut Pinot||Groupama – Fdj||04h 40′ 55”|
The Frenchman slipped away from the pack after vying for bonus seconds on the penultimate climb, assuming a daredevil, aerodynamic crouch at the crest and breaking clear.
By the time he crossed the Marne, still an agonising 10km through the champagne vineyards from Epernay, he was almost a minute ahead.
Alaphilippe was strong enough to cling on and win by 26 seconds, despite a desperate effort from the pack to reel him in.
Tour de France 2019: Stage 3 highlights