Tour De France 2019: Julian Alaphilippe Retains Yellow Jersey After Stage 13 Win

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

France's Julian Alaphilippe, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey reacts as he crosses the finish line of the thirteenth stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, a 27,2-kilometer individual time-trial in Pau, on July 19, 2019. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images

Julian Alaphilippe won Stage 13 of the 2019 Tour de France on Friday to not only retain his yellow jersey but extend his lead at the top of the overall standings.

Defending Tour champion Geraint Thomas recorded the fastest lap late on in the individual time trial in Pau, but Alaphilippe beat his time by 14 seconds in the last ride of the day.

Belgium's Thomas de Gendt held a leading time of 35 minutes, 36 seconds for much of the race, but Welsh wonder Thomas stormed ahead in what was a very short-lived lead.

Deceuninck Quick-Step rider Alaphilippe came into Stage 13 with a significant lead over Thomas of Team Ineos, extending that cushion to one minute and 26 seconds following his second stage win this Tour.

Few will have expected Alaphilippe to combat Thomas' time so fiercely at the end of the stage, especially with more mountain stages in sight and the yellow jersey already his to lose.

However, he showed incredible determination to excel despite his advantage and take another piece of individual success.

Alaphilippe shattered a 30-year-old national Tour record in the process, per Gracenote Olympic:

It was clear from the way he was cutting time off the bar set by Thomas that Alaphilippe isn't keen on the idea of fading back into obscurity, via Eurosport UK:

Thomas beat De Gendt's time by a substantial gap of 22 seconds, making it all the more impressive that Alaphilippe found the energy to go another 14 seconds faster than that.

It looked as though Thomas had his maiden stage victory on this year's Tour, which would have marked a second successive win for British participants following Simon Yates' triumph in Stage 12 on Thursday.

De Gendt clinched the fastest time after beating then-leader Kasper Asgreen, ascending the more significant inclines of Ceriset and Cote d'Esquillot without much hassle.

LeTourData illustrated how it was De Gendt's strength over the climbs that took him to the top of the leaderboard:

Rigoberto Uran came close to knocking De Gendt off his perch, and the Belgian watched with intent as the EF Education-First rider came within 0.28 seconds of his time late in the session.

Thomas finally succeeded in beating De Gendt's time and obliterated his score, though third place on the podium was still a reasonable result for the Stage 8 victor.

Stage 10 winner Wout van Aert was involved in a horrible crash with 1.2 kilometres left to go in his outing, thudding into a set of barriers on a bend.

NBCSN reported the Belgian national champion was forced to pull out of the Tour as a result of his injuries:

The mountain stages resume on Saturday as the Tour begins in Tarbes and winds south to Tourmalet Bareges, with Alaphilippe's status as wearer of the yellow jersey set to be challenged again.

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