Tour de France: Viviani gets first stage win as Alaphilippe retains yellow jersey

Julian Alaphilippe retained the Tour de France yellow jersey as his Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate Elia Viviani won a sprint finish.

Elia Viviani claimed his first Tour de France stage win.   -  Getty Images

Elia Viviani triumphed in a sprint finish in Nancy to claim his first Tour de France stage win as Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey.

It was Viviani's Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate Alaphilippe who attacked late in stage three and, determined not to be outdone, the Italian took the glory Tuesday when he crossed the line just ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan.

A three-rider breakaway of Yoann Offredo, Frederik Backaert and Michael Schar built an impressive gap of three minutes with over 200 kilometers remaining, with the trio maintaining an advantage until the latter stages.

Two crashes held up the peloton in its pursuit, but the breakaway group eventually was caught in a dramatic approach to the line.

 

Viviani — who won omnium gold at the 2016 Olympics — came out on top after fantastic work from his team led by current leader Alaphilippe, who selflessly helped set the stage for the final sprint in the train.

Points jersey leader Peter Sagan missed out on the podium in fourth, while defending champion Geraint Thomas maintained his position in seventh, 45 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

PERFECT TEAM WORK

Viviani has five Giro d'Italia and three Vuelta a Espana stage wins to his name, but he had to wait for one in Le Tour.

However, thanks to what he hailed as "perfect team work," the 30-year-old was able to celebrate the breakthrough.

"That means a lot," he said. "I can’t believe it. It was the big goal of the year. We missed our first chance to win a stage and take the yellow jersey, but after yesterday with Julian it was the moment the team switched on.

"I just needed to do my job in the last few hundred meters. It is what I can do better if they launch me like that. I was focused on my lead out, it was perfect team work."

Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck retained the yellow jersey.   -  Getty Images

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 5:09:20
2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) "
3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) "
4. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) "
5. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo Visma) "

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 14:41:39
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +0:20
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +0:25

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 104
2. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 81
3. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) 75

King of the Mountains

1. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 7
2. Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert) 3
3. Greg van Avermaet (CCC) 2

WHAT'S NEXT?

Stage five brings with it the first true climbs of the Tour, with the 175.5km route through the Vosges area including tests such as the Cote des Trois-Epis and Cote des Cinq Chateaux.