French champion Warren Barguil made his way through a tricky stage marked by the breakaway of Anthony Delaplace. In a complicated finale where Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) shot two birds with one stone to take the stage and the yellow jersey, the leader of the team Arkéa-Samsic finished in the first group of strong men.
Anthony Delaplace: « I was the only one on the team to have carte blanche this morning. We had to be more than five in the breakaway and we were five. I like to take part in this kind of breakaway. On the Tour it has a special flavour, we were cheered on throughout the course. When I escape, I still believe it is my only way to aim for a stage victory. We had a 6:15 advantage, it was starting to be interesting but when Deceuninck – Quick Step started to work, our lead was halved and I realized it was going to be hard to hold them off. Paul Ourselin is a good friend. For his first Tour, we had a good time in front, even if we could not chat much (laughs). I have no regrets today, I have enjoyed myself and I will put myself at the service of my leaders for the days to come. »
Yvon Ledanois : « Our leader feels good. It was harder for the two riders who were supposed to stay with his him, Maxime Bouet and Elie Gesbert but in the front of the pack there were only strong guys. The stage first burst I to life with the five-man breakaway that featured Anthony Delaplace. We had decided to join it, although it would have been better if there were three or four more riders in front. However, with Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Rossetto (Cofidis), Ourselin (Total-Direct Energy), Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Anthony, there was quality. The peloton handled it well and did not sit up after the intermediate sprint and precisely because of the quality of the fugitives they had to go hard and it hurt. Amaël Moinard suffered a puncture 20 kilometres from the finish and lost time after the crashes after Reims. By the time he came back, he had already lost a lot of strength. It was a beautiful winding stage, with 1,000 metres of altitude gain in the last 50 kilomètres. The bottom line is that Warren Barguil ends up in the first group after making a good impression. Tonight, there are already a lot of guys out of the equation like Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) who came to the Tour to fight for GC. “