Dutch rookie Wout van Aert won stage 10 of the Tour de France on Monday as Julian Alaphilippe extended his overall lead after a blistering late charge split the peloton.
Yellow jersey wearer Alaphilippe started the attack from 20km out and defending champion Geraint Thomas and his Ineos team joined in to leave at least five of its rivals trailing 1min 36 adrift at the finish in the red roofed south-eastern town of Albi on the banks of the Tarn river.
Richie Porte, Thibaut Pinot, Jakob Fuglsang, Rigoberto Uran and Mikel Landa all lost time after overall leader Alaphilippe launched a devastating surge as a sudden headwind split the peloton.
Alaphilippe, in top spot, leads second placed Thomas by 1min 12sec, a second Ineos rider, Egan Bernal, is at 1min 16, and van Aert's teammate Steven Kruijswijk is another 11sec off in fourth.
Ineos plan pays off
Ineos boss Dave Brailsford said the stage went exactly as he had planned it.
“We saw the weather and spoke about this in the pre-race briefing,” said the Briton who has plotted six Tour de France victories from the last seven.
His co-leader Thomas was exultant, if exhausted.
“That's just great. It was just a positioning error from them and they lose a minute and a half. That's how it goes,” said Thomas.
The 22-year-old Bernal takes the best young rider's white jersey.
“It was wild, but that's the Tour de France, every day is super-hard here and anything can happen. We are really happy to have gained some time,” said the slightly built Bernal, who proved again here he can keep up with the burly riders who do well in crosswinds.
Nairo Quintana of Movistar was all smiles too, after finishing in the mini-peloton after an exhausting long-range dash.
“I was fortunate to be aware of what was happening, I feel lucky in a way, that's racing,” said Quintana, whose co-captain Landa lost over 2 minutes.
Jumbo Visma's Dutch stage winner van Aert claimed his first Tour de France victory beating top sprinters drained by the high-speed run in.
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