In the space of just 24 hours, Julian Alaphilippe sported a third different jersey at the Tour de France. After starting the race Saturday in rainbow and continuing it in yellow following his sublime victory, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s World Champion will now sport the green jersey, which he donned atop Mûr-de-Bretagne, the climb that has made a habit of featuring every few years on the route.
One of the steepest ascents in the entire Bretagne region, averaging 6.9% over two kilometers but pitching up to 14%, Mûr-de-Bretagne was tackled twice inside the last 20 kilometers of Sunday’s stage, and despite several attacks the first time up, it all came down to the final ascent.
There, the fireworks began under the flamme rouge, when a series of attacks put the peloton on its limit. With no team having enough members to control things, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) went clear at 800 meters to go and took the victory eight seconds ahead of a small group from where Alaphilippe sprinted to fifth place – a result that saw him transition from yellow to green, which he wears for the first time.
“I enjoyed every single moment in the yellow jersey and I want to thank all my teammates, who once again worked hard for me and protected me the entire day. I gave my best there and rode really hard in my attempt to retain yellow, but I didn’t have the best legs when the attacks came. Nevertheless, I am content with my first weekend and with having another distinctive jersey on my shoulders”, said Julian after joining a select club of just six riders to have led the four Tour de France classifications at some point in their career: overall, points, KOM and youth.