On a day in which people were asking how much time yellow jersey holder Julian Alaphilippe would lose to Geraint Thomas in the time trial, “Loulou” bested the current Tour champion and won the day to pull out a bigger lead atop the GC. The gaps weren’t enormous, with 1:11 separating Alaphilippe from Alejandro Valverde in 14th place. However, 2:29 separates Thomas from 10th place Adam Yates in the GC, with Steven Kruijswijk, Enric Mas, Egan Bernal, Emanual Buchmann, Thibaut Pinot, Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana in between.

The Course

The lone individual time trial of the 106th edition was 27.2 km in length and featured Pau’s rolling hills. Split times would be taken at the 7.7, 15.5 and 21.9 km points.

Kasper Asgreen set the early time of 35:52, rolling it at 45.5 km/h, with Chag Haga 30-seconds back.

Just as it looked like Wout Van Aert was about to knock Asgreen from the hot seat, he suffered a terrible crash into the barriers with only a few kilometres to go and stayed down for a long time. It was a sad end to the Tour de France for Jumbo-Visma’s Stage 10-winning debutante.

Irrepressible Stage 8 winner Thomas De Gendt assumed the race lead with 35:36.

Richie Porte, Alejandro Valverde, Rigoberto Uran and Jakob Fuglsang were off and running in the first part of the course.

Porte finished 9-seconds slower than De Gendt. Pinot was fourth fastest at the second intermediate time check. Suddenly attention swung to Steven Kruijswijk, who topped De Gendt’s fastest time at the first check. Egan Bernal was +0:12 and Thomas +0:01 of Kruijswijk at that point.

Fuglsang slotted in sixth on provisional GC with his rivals still to finish. Behind the Dane, Dan Martin was lagging a bit: +1:02 at the second check.

But the big news was Alaphilippe cracking Kruijswijk’s best time at the first check by five-seconds. Rigo hit the line 28-seconds in arrears of De Gendt.

Loulou went out a little too fast and soon Thomas had surpassed him. At the line in Pau Pinot was 13 seconds slower than De Gendt. Bernal was slowing on the course.

Uran matched De Gendt’s time, with Kruijswijk +0:09 and Pinot +0:13.

Thomas firmly placed himself as Ineos’s main man, bumping De Gendt from the throne by an impressive 22 seconds. But the surprise was less than two-minutes later as the yellow jersey, celebrating its 100th anniversary, propelled Alaphilippe to the unlikely victory, with Loulou setting 35:00, 14 seconds faster than the Welshman.

Kruijswijk moves onto the final podium spot, with Alaphilippe’s Spanish Deceuninck Quick Step teammate Enric Mas 32-seconds off the steps after a stellar ride that saw him pinch the white young rider’s jersey from Egan Bernal. Uran rose four places to eighth.

Aching Michael Woods finished with a time of 39:55, and Hugo Houle stopped the clock at 39:46.

Saturday is the first big mountain summit finish, on legendary Tourmalet, 19 km of 7.4 percent.

2019 Tour de France Stage 13
1) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 35:00
2) Geraint Thomas (Great Britain/Ineos) +0:14
3) Thomas De Gendt (Belgium/Lotto-Soudal) +0:36
129) Hugo Houle (Canada/Astana) +4:46
132) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +4:55

2019 Tour de France GC
1) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 53:01:09
2) Geraint Thomas (Great Britain/Ineos) +1:26
3) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +2:12
4) Enric Mas (Spain/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +2:44
5) Egan Bernal (Colombia/Ineos) +2:54
6) Emanual Buchmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +3:04
7) Thibaut Pinot (France/Groupama-FDJ) +3:22
8) Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Education First) +3:54
9) Nairo Quintana (Colombia/Movistar) +3:55
10) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott) s.t.
52) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +35:49
100) Hugo Houle (Canada/Astana) +1:18:53

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