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Tour de France champion Bernal given heros welcome in…

Robin Thurston named CEO of Pocket Outdoor Media

Riis downplays rumors as UCI, teams meet over WorldTour…

Lotto-Soudal vows to continue racing in honor of Lambrecht

Alaphilippe is now a Tour contender

Alaphilippe defied all expectation to hold on to the yellow jersey in the stage 13 time trial. The mountains to come will tell us much about his prospects for not just the Tour, but also his career.

TARBES, France (VN) FrenchmanJulian Alaphilippe(Deceuninck-Quick Step) is now a Tour de France contender. Those in the peloton, one day after he won the time trial in the yellow jersey, think he can win the race overall this year and if not, in the years to come.

Alaphilippe gained 14 seconds onGeraint Thomas(Ineos) in thePau stage 13 time trialto strengthen his overall lead to 1-26.

I would not be surprised if he was still there at the final of this Tour de France in Paris, said Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), who won the first day.

And and if youre that strong, you can also do it on the Tourmalet. And after that, its only three more mountain stages, so yeah, I think hes a good contender now.

What makes the 27-year-old dangerous, is his ability to out-sprint General Classification cyclists like Thomas and Teunissens team-mate Steven Kruijswijk.

He sprinting for every bonus sprint. Its not only only to keep the yellow jersey. I think also already he has it in the back of his head, and of course, he should. I mean, if he has a bad day, he has a bad day, but otherwise, he must give everything. I think hes a big contender now.

Alaphilippes biggest wins prior to the Tour were one-day races. This spring, he won Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo, and the Flche Wallonne. He has been able to transfer that one-day form into stage race wins, like the Tour of Britain in 2018. Now, hes doing it in the Tour.

What hes doing now is not too bad, Teunissen said. He did already a really good season and also now hes doing really well, so I would not see any reason why he should change his season approach.

Yeah, I think can he can win this Tour, added George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma). For sure. I cant see real weakness in him.

Alaphilippe won the pernay third stage to take the yellow jersey. He fought to maintain his place near the top at the Planche des Belles Filles. But the time trial, concluding nine days in the yellow, was a surprise for many.

After that time trial yesterday I was like, oh no, hes still there, Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) said.

You know, at this point, I think a lot of the GC guys are saying, How do we beat him? Its not going to be easy to get rid of him.

The Tourmalet and mountains to come will tell us much about Alaphilippes makings. However, there is a feeling that this Tour could change his career path.

In the time trial, he made a big statement, said American Ben King (Dimension Data). So yeah, I think everyones taking him a lot more seriously

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VeloNews magazine will bring you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

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