“No regrets,” neatly summed up the thoughts of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) after the Frenchman gave his utmost to defend the yellow jersey of the Tour de France on Sunday but was not able to do a lot more than view as Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) romped away to consider the phase acquire and Tour direct to boot.
Van der Poel’s explosive assault the 1st time above the Mûr-de-Bretagne noticed him claim an eight-second time bonus that set him in a pole posture to fight for yellow, and it was a warning shot of some appreciable volume across the bows of Alaphilippe and the relaxation of the peloton.
But when the Dutchman blasted away for very good on the second ascent of the Mûr, 700 metres from the end, Alaphilippe seemed powerless to cease him, and he confirmed afterwards that he experienced been in no place to do so.
“There are no regrets, I gave my most and my legs ended up a little bit weighty soon after yesterday’s stage,” stated Alaphilippe who put fifth on the phase, 8 seconds down on Van der Poel. He now trails the Dutchman by the exact same margin in the total standings.
“We went up the climb the to start with time fairly complete-on with the headwind, but I felt fine on the final circuit in advance of we came into the climb yet again. Mathieu was much better, which is all. I tried to react on the 1st time he attacked, I experimented with to economize right before the previous ascent so I’d have as much power as possible. But when it is not your day, it’s not your working day.
“Yesterday he was unhappy, but he arrived up to congratulate me even so. We’re equivalent as racers, and he’s a deserving wearer of the maillot jaune.”
Ahead of the phase, Alaphilippe experienced stated his crucial aim would be to protect the guide, not go for a 2nd successive gain. But in spite of shedding the yellow jersey, he argued that a wonderful deal experienced by now been reached. “We’re only in the next stage of the race,” he pointed out. “There are plenty of chances to occur and on leading of that, we have the sprints to go for with Mark [Cavendish] from Monday. General, it’s been a really very good weekend.”
As defending entire world champion, Alaphilippe had reminded journalists on Saturday that if he had to shed the yellow then at minimum he would have a rainbow jersey waiting for him rather, “which will not be so poor.” However, he has finished up continuing to guide the Tour’s points classification, so he will alternatively be wearing environmentally friendly for the very first time on Monday.
“Now I have received all the jerseys from the Tour, which is some thing pretty distinctive as well,” Alaphilippe explained with a grin. And with only 8 seconds in between himself and Van der Poel, regaining yellow is rarely out of the question in the upcoming, possibly.