The poster boy of Team Ineos, the Welshman Geraint Thomas didn’t want to go full throttle in the stage 3 finale to Epernay of the rigorous Tour de France cycling championship. This made him lose 5 precious seconds to his team-mate, Egan Bernal. Interestingly, both Bernal and Thibaut Pinnot (Team Groupama-FDJ) took a front split from winner Julian Alaphippe (Team Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and are maintaining a lead of five seconds over riders like Geraint Thomas.
Thomas stated the climb undertaken by Alaphilippe was steep, and he was not keen on giving 100 percent as his legs were not up to it. The climb he referred to was at Cote de Mutigny where Alaphilippe covered 16 kilometres from Epernay. Thomas was fairly upfront about not going for the bonus sprint, especially at the top of the steep climb as he was not assured of giving his 100 percent.
He expressed satisfaction for reaching the finishing line and being safe (not sustaining any injury) and thought of the day as being good overall. His team-mate Bernal did ride alongside Alaphilippe for some time but joined Thomas, the winner in the 2018 edition of Tour de France. The two rode down the Champagne fields to reach the base of a 300-meter climb to the finish line.
In the overall analysis, Alaphilippe has maintained his winning streak by gaining 20 seconds over Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), 25 seconds over Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma), 40 seconds over Bernal, and 45 seconds on Thomas.
Further ahead, the racers have to encounter some flat stages before reaching the summit finish at Planche des Belles Filles.