It was a day of utmost respect for the 105th edition of the Tour with a landmark victory for Alaphilippe, a 50th win of the season for his Quick-Step Floors team, and impressive displays from the both yellow jersey and the green jersey of Peter Sagan, who extended their leads at the top of their respective classifications.
A driving force behind the day’s 21-man break, Alaphilippe attacked his fellow escapees on the fourth of five categorised climbs before soloing to glory – and the polka dots – after a downhill conclusion to the 158.5km Stage 10 from Annecy.

Alaphilippe produces solo masterclass to win Stage 10

Tour de France
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30/07/2019 AT 13:46
Spain’s Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida) outkicked Estonian Rein Taaramae (Direct Energie) in the fight for second place more than one-and-a-half minutes back before Van Avermaet (BMC) rounded off the top five alongside fellow Belgian Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) a few seconds later.
Just the one more escapee – Frenchman Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) – survived the clutches of the chasing main pack before Ireland’s Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) led this select group of favourites home almost three-and-a-half-minutes down.
Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Poland Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) were all distanced and finished in a splinter group 51 seconds back.
But the big loser of the day was last year’s runner-up, the Colombian Rigoberto Uran of EF Education First-Drapac, who cracked on the Col de la Colombiere to concede over three minutes to his rivals.
By honouring the yellow jersey with panache, Van Avermaet extended his lead over Welshman Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) by 2’22” ahead of back-to-back summit finishes in the Alps. Meanwhile, Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) moved into the top three, 3’10” down on the Belgian, as defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) moved up to sixth.
It was a good day, too, for the world champion Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) who fought into the break to pick up maximum points at the intermediate and extend his lead over Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) to 101 points in his bid for a record-equalling sixth green jersey.
In the final jersey classification, Frenchman Pierre Latour (Ag2R-La Mondiale) took over the lead of the youth standings from the Dane Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb).
BREAKAWAY BATTLE: A crash in the neutral zone saw a cluster of riders – including Spain’s Mikel Landa (Movistar) – hit the deck in what was an ominous start to the first major mountain stage of the Tour.
As soon as the stage got under way the attacks rained down – and that man Alaphilippe was a maelstrom from the outset, riding clear with Frenchman Florian Vachon on a hill to provoke a flurry of movement behind.
When a break did indeed form on the Cat.4 Col de Bluffy, Alaphilippe was one of 21 riders who quickly built up a solid lead over the pack as Team Sky came to the front of the peloton and blocked any further moves.

Key moments from Stage 10 as Alaphilippe claims glory

Unperturbed by the presence of the yellow jersey of Van Avermaet in the break, Sky seemed content to ride at a steady pace and contain any threat from within the pack.
As the gap stretched out to two minutes, Alaphilippe darted clear to pick up the solitary KOM point – setting the tone for the next few hours of racing.
Sagan showed just why he is the favourite to make it six green jerseys in seven years by taking the maximum 20 points at the intermediate sprint alongside Bora team-mate Lukas Postlberger – the two eventually sitting up to be the first riders caught by the pack.
FROOME SCARE: Frenchman Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) made the first moves on the Cat.1 Col de la Croix Fry – attacking to take maximum points ahead of Taaramae with still 115km remaining.
The break splintered on the steepest climb of the Tour – the 6km double-digit ascent towards the Plateau de Glieres – as Alaphilippe soloed clear in pursuit of the HC KOM points that would cement his polka-dot push.

Van Avermaet: I didn't want to lose the yellow jersey

Alaphilippe was caught by the chasers following the much anticipated 2km gravel section on the summit, which the Sky-led peloton reached with a deficit of more than five minutes.
Despite all the pre-race hype, the only rider who seemed to have any problems on the infamous gravel track – certainly the only GC rider – was Froome, who punctured and required a wheel change with team-mate Jonathan Castroviejo.
But the pace was so slow that the four-time Tour winner was able to rejoin his rivals before the end of the gravel and the start of the long descent to the valley below.
ALAPHILIPPE GOES FOR IT: After a long drag along the Arve valley, the break – now back to 18 riders – held a gap of seven minutes going on to the penultimate climb, the Col de Romme.
If it was Taaramae who made the first move, it was Alaphilippe who soon showed his class by zipping past the Estonian ahead of the summit to practically secure the polka dot jersey.
Behind, fellow Frenchman Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) put in a short-lived whimsical attack off the front of the peloton before being swallowed and spat out. Last year’s polka dot jersey and double stage winner would eventually finish more than 10 minutes down to free up his bid to hunt stages – and in particular Thursday’s stage to the mythical Alpe d’Huez.

Alaphilippe: It is an amazing feeling to finally win Tour de France stage

Alaphilippe showed his credentials as Barguil’s successor by riding clear of Taaramae on the descent and extending his KOM lead on the Col de la Colombiere, which he scaled in pole position with well over a minute to play with. There just remained the small matter of the 15km descent to the finish, which the 26-year-old mastered with aplomb to secure the 12th and biggest pro win of his blossoming career.
GC STALEMATE: Save for a late attack from Ireland’s Martin on the Colombiere it was a day of attrition for the GC favourites with the significant movement coming from riders being distanced rather than those dancing clear.
Team Sky controlled things with ease as all eight of their riders populated the front of the pack for the majority of the stage, Thomas clearly happy to postpone his push for Van Avermaet’s yellow jersey for at least another day.
On a day of no winners (besides Alaphilippe, Van Avermaet and Sagan), the big losers were Majka – who dropped to 4’02” back – Mollema (+4’28”) and Uran (+7’08”). As for Barguil, he will no doubt see the positive side of slipping 11’50” down on the overall standings. We can expect to see more of him in breaks in the days to come.

Vincenzo Nibali: Race starts now for GC hopefuls

COMING UP: Stage 11 – Albertville to La Rosiere (108km)

The first major summit finish of the race is a carbon copy of June's Criterium du Dauphine stage won by the Spaniard Pello Bilbao. With four large climbs condensed into just over 100 kilometres, we can expect a flurry of activity from the outset and a larger shake-up on GC.
If Van Avermaet did the yellow jersey proud on Tuesday, it will perhaps be too much of an ask to see the Belgian secure a ninth day on the race summit. The question remains who will take over; the smart money seems to be on Thomas.
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