A punchy finish to the third stage of the 2019 Tour de France drew a winning, crowd-thrilling performance from Julian Alaphilippe and a surge from Michael Woods that gained crucial bonus seconds to help him rise to 11th place after placing 20th on the day. With his third career Tour victory, French buccaneer Alaphilippe ripped the yellow jersey from the shoulders of Jumbo-Visma’s Mike Teunissen. He’s the first Frenchman to wear yellow since Tony Gallopin in 2014.
The route was flat as the race finally headed into France’s champagne region. After 160 flat kilometres, four steep little climbs stood as sentinels to the finish in Épernay: 1.1 km of 6.8 percent, 900 metres of 10.5 percent, 1.8 km of 6.6 percent and 900 metres of 12.2 percent. The last of the four, peaking with 16 km to go was the first bonus second climb of the race.
We are in Binche – where one year ago @yveslampaert became National Champion – for the start of #TDF2019 stage 3, which heads into France for what promises to be a thrilling final 60 kilometers on the up-and-down roads to Epernay. pic.twitter.com/PjUwyt8I67
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) July 8, 2019
The day’s breakaway quintet included one rider from each of the wild card teams. Teunissen’s team and Deceuninck-Quick Step were the most interested in keeping the gap low.
Before the first climb, Tim Wellens left behind his breakmates. Bora-Hansgrohe took the reins of the peloton, but with 35 km remaining it seemed that the peloton would be racing for minor places.
The bonus sprint atop 12 percent Cote de Mutigny provided eight seconds for Wellens, five for Alaphilippe and two for Woods. Ilnur Zakarin slipped back from the favourites group. Wellens seized the polka dot jersey from Greg Van Avermaet but found Alaphilippe slip by him immediately after the crest.
Michael Woods was part of a short lived chase pursuit on the descent.
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) July 8, 2019
Loulou laboured to make sure he had the time gap and time bonus to seize the yellow jersey. He leads Jumbo’s Wout Van Aert by 20-seconds. A five-second time gap between the group that fought out second place and the group following meant that Egan Bernal and Thibaut Pinot gained time on all their rivals. Woods is one place and one second ahead of Pinot.
2019 Tour de France Stage 3
1) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 4:40:29
2) Michael Matthews (Australia/Sunweb) +0:26
3) Jasper Stuyven (Belgium/Trek-Segafredo) s.t.
20) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +0:31
2019 Tour de France GC
1) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 9:32:19
2) Wout Van Aert (Belgium/Jumbo-Visma) +0:20
3) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +0:25
11) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +0:51