PAU – France’s Julian Alaphilippe continued to amaze as he claimed an impressive victory in the 13th stage of the Tour de France, a 27.2km individual time trial, to extend his overall lead on Friday.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider clocked 35 minutes over the lumpy course to beat defending champion Geraint Thomas by 14 seconds and Belgian Thomas de Gendt by 36 seconds.
Following his second stage win this year, Alaphilippe now leads Thomas, who is emerging as Team Ineos’ sole leader, by 1:26 and Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk by 2:12.
Saturday’s 14th stage is a 117.5km mountain trek from Tarbes ending at top of the Col du Tourmalet.
“I knew on that kind of course I could perform but I didn’t think I could win. The route suited me so I told myself ‘give everything, you have nothing to lose’,” said World No 1 Alaphilippe, winner of the Milan San Remo ‘Monument’ classic this season.