The Planche des Belles Filles (France) (AFP)
Julian Alaphilippe, who gave everything to keep his yellow jersey while attacking in the Planche des Belles Daughters Thursday on the Tour de France, "is not disappointed" to have left his leading position to the Italian Giulio Ciccone for only six seconds.
"Six seconds is missing, that's how it is," said the Frenchman, 6th in the 6th stage, the first to finish at the 106th edition. "I'm not disappointed, I took advantage, my last three days (in yellow) were exceptional," he added.
Attacking in the final kilometer of the Planche des Belles Daughters, a non asphalt and extremely steep (a passage to 24%), Alaphilippe has preceded many favorites for the final classification. He was only preceded by Geraint Thomas and Thibaut Pinot.
The loss of the yellow jersey is due to the bonuses. His new holder, present in the breakaway, pocketed 8 seconds in the process, at the top of the Col des Chevrères, penultimate difficulty, and 6 seconds in the second place finish.
"We controlled all day, I knew that the last difficulty was going to hurt," said Alaphilippe. "The breakaway was very strong," he was justified, questioned about the management of the pursuit behind the leading men. "My team had run before the previous days, it would have been hard to control such a breakaway to a minute or two during the stage.There is not much more to do, with + if + we can redo the story. "
The runner of Montluçon was in any case astonished. "I feel better than I thought," he said. With six seconds behind, he remains in pole position to recover his yellow jersey. Maybe at the stage of Saint-Etienne, Saturday, which suits him perfectly?
© 2019 AFP