Alaphilippe is exhibited: stage, leader and tears for his father

The Frenchman from Deceuninck attacked at the last level of Cuatro Caminos and left with Hirschi and Yates, whom he beat at the Nice goal to wear yellow.


Anthony Pérez and Luis Ángel Maté, colleagues on the Cofidis squad, call each other “the Andalusian”, although neither of them is so on all four sides. Maté is revealed by his accent forged in Marbella, although he was born in Madrid. And to Pérez he discovers his surname, although he is a native of Toulouse. The Frenchman spent summers in Arjona, a town in Jaén, with his grandparents Juan Pedro and Petra. And on its slopes, on a bicycle, he dreamed of running the Vuelta. And also the Tour, of course. The first dream was fulfilled in 2017, in that edition that came out precisely from France, in Nîmes. And the second has been chaining him since 2018. Always a guerrilla. This Sunday he was one of the protagonists of the day, within the break. And he crossed the Turini first, the prestigious port of the Monte Carlo Rally.

Turini was the second port of the day, after La Colmiani, where Pérez passed second, behind Benoit Cosnefroy. The 2020 Tour has already put a mountain on the second day. The peloton passed there in two minutes, led by the Jumbo-Visma, which has assumed the role of pattern of the race. Egal Bernal's Ineos does not seem to have any objection to eventually giving up those functions. Roglic's team was in no rush to hunt. And let the escapees do. At the moment ... 444 444

The sunny sky had replaced the rain the day before, which is to be expected when someone visits the Côte d'Azur, but the consequences of the slippery opening stage had not disappeared. Rafael Valls and Philippe Gilbert, with a fractured femur and kneecap, were unable to start. Yes, De la Cruz did, with a painful sacral fissure, which suffered during the stage, like so many other members of the infirmary. Wounds heal badly on Tour. The debate also continued: Did the peloton do well to slow down the pace at the start of the race? No quorum.

Consensus or no consensus, the sun and the Sunday walk left no room for excuses the next day. Education First gave way to the Jumbo, the rhythm heated up, and the adventurous dreams of Pérez from Jaén died on the slopes of Col d'Eze, a classic in Paris-Nice. Move aside, the roosters are coming. Neilson Powless attacked, without success. Dani Martínez fell. Alejandro Valverde suffered a breakdown. And the Jumbo again blocked the race, on the way to the last level of the day, Cuatro Caminos, which hid an extra bonus.

Julian Alaphilippe had a sign on his back in the morning that read: "Today I attack on the last climb." And he did it. What I would not have imagined is that Marc Hirschi, a 22-year-old Swiss, would jump on his wheel. Nor that Adam Yates would later join him, fourth in the 2016 Tour. Mikel Landa and Marc Soler also tried. A foolish fall by Tom Dumoulin in the chasing group disrupted the Jumbo's plans and exposed the weaknesses of the Dutch monster. It's not that fierce. Ineos, Movistar and Astana had to take over from the thrust of the trio. With cold blood and the peloton on his back, Alaphillipe achieved victory and donned the yellow jersey, the same garment he wore last year for 14 days and lost three days from Paris. The Frenchman was excited at the finish line in memory of his father, who died two months ago. He dedicated the triumph to him. It's for you, dad. The Alaphilippe surname shines again on the Tour.

The Andalusian Pérez arrived at 17:45 minutes and tied at 18 points with Cosnefroy in the classification of the Mountain. There are also silent heroes. Haughty olive trees.

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