Down the Other Side T18-53
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) had been attacking the stage in hopes of claiming the Maillot a Pois of best climber in the Tour. He achieved that goal when he went first over three of the four high climbs of the day. As he crested the final climb, the Col de la Colombiere, he had over a minute on the closest chaser, another Frenchman, Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie). Alaphilippe is a good climber (obviously) but he is a brilliant descender. He knew he could use that skill to open up a greater lead on the entire peloton chasing in shattered pieces behind. As he dropped off the mountain he was being told by his race radio that he was gaining more and more time. He knew that stage was his and as an early title foretold, "he was back in the action." Had he not lost time on the way to Roubaix, he may have been racing for yellow, but then the peloton probably wouln't have let him go either.