ST ETIENNE, France (REUTERS) – Julian Alaphilippe reclaimed the Tour de France’s yellow jersey as fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot underlined his title credentials in Saturday’s (July 13) eighth stage.
Belgian Thomas De Gendt won the 200km hilly stage from Macon from a breakaway, ahead of Pinot, the only rider able to follow Alaphilippe’s brutal attack in the last climb with about 13km left.
The French duo went full gas in the descent into St Etienne and held off a trimmed peloton at the finish.
They crossed the line six seconds behind De Gendt, but 20 seconds ahead of the bunch featuring defending champion Geraint Thomas, who suffered a scare 15km from the finish when he took a minor tumble.
Alaphilippe now leads Italian Giulio Ciccone, who started the day in yellow, by 23 seconds and Pinot, who gained bonus seconds in the last ascent and at the finish, by 53 seconds.
Thomas is fifth, 1:12 off the pace.
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