Alaphilippe: "I had nothing to lose"
Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Julian Alaphilippe explained how he claimed the yellow jersey on Stage 8 of the Tour de France.
Alaphillipe took the jersey on the Macon to St Etienne stage, working his way through 200 gruelling kilometers. The seven climbs meant that riders had to negotiate the equivalent of 3,800 vertical meters.
The Frenchman said: “I had nothing to lose, I felt good and I attacked. The goal was to take back the yellow jersey and having achieved that gives me a huge satisfaction. Wearing the maillot jaune for three days was incredible, but having it on my shoulders on our National Day will be really special and pretty amazing."
Alaphilippe began the day in second, six seconds from the lead. On the Cote de La Jaillere he was able to drop every competitor save Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ, earning himself five bonus seconds. The two then worked together to battle tage leader Thomas De Gendt of Soudal-Lotto.
Alaphilippe continued: “It was a truly magnificent finale! I was focused all day and stayed near the front of the bunch, and when I felt it was the moment to go, I attacked. Thibaut bridged across and it was good to have him there, as we both had something to gain from this. We didn’t ask any questions, just kept on pushing and riding full gas. I’m sure the French public appreciated this action. Now I look forward to sporting the jersey on Sunday and honouring it again!”