De Gendt wins stage, Alaphilippe reclaims yellow jersey

Analysis Dust yet to settle after Tour de France scales'Super Planche

Analysis Dust yet to settle after Tour de France scales'Super Planche

Belgium's Thomas de Gendt won after a stage-long breakaway, as France's Julian Alaphilippe regained the yellow jersey with a late attack.

The long day's simmering tension erupted with 15km to go when Canadian Michael Woods (EF Education First) lost control on a tight right hand corner and took out a batch of Team Ineos riders hot on his wheel. "G's bike was fine and I just put the chain back on and let him ride", Kwiatkowski explained.

"I was trying to catch my bike because one policeman took my bike away so it was very hard to get back on the bike".

Alaphilippe abandoned his yellow jersey for just six seconds to Ciccone on the previous stage at the Planche des Belles Filles ski station.

"They've got some real punch", Thomas said.

"We were behind Woods and his team - they were the guys riding. It was just unfortunate that he crashed in front of us and took us out but that's the way it goes sometimes".

The Welshman needed that form as he got back to the group in just four kilometres and rode his way to 10th place on the day.

"The boys did a great job", Thomas added.

"So I was kind of gassed for a bit". I've had very good feeling already for the whole Tour and I had incredible legs today'. "The bunch was coming closer but I had to go solo and stay ahead of them".

Deceuninck Quick Step's Alaphilippe gained a total of nine bonus seconds and Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) picked up eight at the top of the final ascent and on the finish line.

Julian Alaphilippe reclaimed the Tour de France's yellow jersey and Thibaut Pinot underlined his title credentials as the French pair highly impressed in a spectacular eighth-stage finale on Saturday.

Now the Frenchman will have the honour of sporting it for Sunday's Bastille Day stage to Brioude. I knew my deficit on GC was only six seconds but it was a big task at the same time.

"I will wear the yellow jersey on Bastille Day, for a Frenchman there is nothing better", Alaphilippe said after finishing the stage in third place, just behind Pinot.

Carrying the hopes of a country that has not seen a homegrown Tour victor in 34 years, the French pair emerged as the big winners on the latest stage, which saw Geraint Thomas crash and lose ground in the defence of his title.

Thomas De Gendt's masterful breakaway victory was the full stop on a memorably chaotic afternoon on the rollercoaster roads to Saint-Etienne that blew the peloton to smithereens. 'It hurts so much but it's wonderful, ' De Gendt said 'It's also mission accomplished for the team. Our goal was to come to the Tour to win a stage.

"We nearly got it yesterday with Caleb [Ewan]".

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