France’s Julian Alaphilippe, riding for Deceuninck-Quick Step in first place with the yellow jersey, secured his second stage win at the 2019 Tour de France Stage 13 individual time trail at Pau in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Julian Alaphilippe
Julian Alaphilippe crosses finish line in Pau during Stage 13 of the Tour de France. (Image: Reuters)

On a historic day marking the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, it was fitting that a Frenchman won the stage.

“To be in yellow is already amazing,” Alaphilippe told Velo News. “It’s something for sure I will never forget. And I’m proud to put my name on the story of my sport.”

Just when doubters and oddsmakers thought Alaphilippe would blow his lead in the mountains after a strong first ten stages, the Frenchman retained the yellow jersey and padded his lead over defending champion Geraint Thomas in second place. Thomas finished in second overall, but lost 12 seconds overall on the lead.

STAGE 13 RESULTS:
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 35:00
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) +0:14
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) +0:36

OVERALL STANDINGS:
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 53:01:09
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) +1:26
Steve Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +2:12
Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +2:44
Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) +2:52

Enric Mas, Alaphilippe’s teammate at DQS moved into fourth overall. Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), one of the favorites to win the Tour de France, lost ground on the leader and fell to fifth place. Bernal was only 1:16 off the lead coming into Pau. After a rough time trial, he slipped to 2:52.

Meanwhile, Holland’s Steve Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) crept up to third place overall.

Tour de France Stage 13: Pau Time Trial

This individual time trial in Pau included a twisting 27.2 km ride. The biggest challenges were early in the stage with the Cote de Gelos at 7.8 percent grade and Cote d’Esquillot at 7.2 percent.

The second half featured a much flatter course.

“On this parcourse it was really perfect for me,” said Alaphilippe. “The first part I went full gas and I just wanted to see what I could do in the second half. In my ear I hear from my sport director, he said I had the best time.”

Alaphilippe finished at 35:00 on the nose. Geraint Thomas posted the second-best time but still trailed by 14 seconds. At one point, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) looked like the man to beat when he posted 35:36.

Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) finished in fourth, while Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) took fifth.

On Deck: Stage 14 Tarbes > Tourmalet Bareges

On Saturday, the peloton faces another brutal mountain stage. Stage 14 winds 117.5 km from Tarbes to Tourmalet Bareges.

This stage ends at Tourmalet Bareges, which will be 2,000 meters elevation for the first time this race.

The first challenge is a 11.9 km ascent up Col du Soulor at 7.8 percent grade. The peak is 1,474 meters. The stage concludes with a 30 km climb toward Tourmalet Bareges which is 2,175 meters above sea level.

This would be one of those perfect opportunities for Geraint Thomas or Egan Bernal to shave time off the clock and chip away at Alaphilippe’s lead.

STAGE 14 ODDS:
Geraint Thomas 5/1
Thibaut Pinot 6/1
Egan Bernal 7/1
Julian Alaphilippe 12/1

According to oddsmakers in Europe, Geraint Thomas is the favorite to win Stage 14 at Tourmalet Bareges. He’s 5/1 odds to win the stage. Thibautt Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) is the second highest on the board at 6/1 odds. Egan Bernal is 7/1 odds, while Julian Alaphilippe is 12/1 odds to win Stage 14 and secure back-to-back stage victories.

Alaphilippe’s overall odds to win the 2019 Tour de France improved to 5/1. Geraint Thomas is still the favorite, but his odds slipped to even money. His Ineos’ teammate Egan Bernal also slipped after losing time in Stage 13, but Bernal looks like great value at 7/1 odds overall.

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