For this year's Tour de France we've teamed up with The Velocast to share with you their nominated Conquistador of the Day. During their daily stage review podcast, Scott and John will announce the rider who they feel deserves a special mention for their efforts that day.
Today's Conquistador of the Day is Deceuninck-Quick Step's French puncheur Julian Alaphilippe. The Velocast's John Galloway tells us why:
We are going for Julian Alaphillipe who won magnificently in a style I would have been delighted to watch in a one-day Classic and took the first French yellow jersey for five years. So he has got to be Conquistador of the Day!
I also want to give a bonus award to Mikel Landa because on the Cot de Martini there was no sign of Landa and everyone thought it was because he was dropped when he was in fact off the front.
But how the hell can you pick anybody other than Julian Alaphillipe. Quick-Step - atrocious Giro. Suddenly, he's into France - into his home country and Quick-Step have settled their Tour. Whatever happens now they have got a yellow jersey, they've got a stage win. Their tails will be up so we may well see the end of that lacklustre period from Elia Viviani tomorrow. He's got to be Conquistador! I mean it's just a fantastic ride from the world number one - a classy, classy rider!".
Photo credit: A.S.O./Alex BROADWAY
Scott O'Raw agrees: "It's the manner in which he attacked. The manner in which he descended. The manner in which he was able to not only stay away to the finish line but also take the yellow jersey in the race's first day back in France. It's as clear cut as its likely to be across these next three weeks, although Tim Wellens was a good second place for the award."
The Velocast are long-time fans of Julian Alaphillippe, to such an extent that they offer a t-shirt dedicated to The Swashbuckler on their website. Click here to buy.
A special mention also for Dr Ian Walker, who features in the next issue (#22) of Conquista Magazine, as our non Tour de France Conquistador of the Day. Ian has just set the world record for crossing Europe by bike with a time of 16 days, 20 hours and 59 minutes. An effort that is all the more remarkable because it was completed solo and unsupported. Vamos Dr Ian!
World’s number 1 Julian Alaphilippe powered to victory with a strong attack with 16km to go behind breakaway rider Tim Wellens in the hills of the Champagne area. A solo winner in Epernay, he took over from Mike Teunissen to become the first Frenchman in the lead of the Tour de France since Tony Gallopin in 2014.
Five riders in the lead
176 riders took the start of stage 3 in Binche. Yoann Offredo, a member of the Binche-based Wanty-Groupe Gobert team, was first to attack from the gun but he was reeled in by a very active peloton. Two kilometres further, the Frenchman rode away again with four other riders: Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic), Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie) and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis). They enjoyed a slightly downhill first part of the course and a nice tailwind to cover almost 47km in the first hour of racing. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) led the bunch by himself until the maximum time gap was recorded while the leading quintet passed the 80th kilometre: 6’15’’. That was the moment chosen by Deceuninck-Quick Step to ask Kasper Asgreen to speed up. The time difference was stabilized around 3’30’’ with 100km to go.
Tim Wellens’ one-man-show
In front of the magnificent cathedral of Reims with 69km to go, the deficit of the peloton was below two minutes with Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-Quick Step still at the helm. The breakaway riders swapped turns efficiently until Wellens attacked with 48km to go before the climb of Nanteuil-la-Forêt. 30km before the end, as the French quartet was brought back by the pack, the advantage of Wellens was 1’50’’. The Belgian secured the polka dot jersey at the côte de Champillon with 25km to go where a difference of 1’10’’ with the peloton was recorded.
Julian Alaphilippe on a classics mode
Wellens was caught by Alaphilippe at the top of the côte de Mutigny with 16km to go while he had a flat tyre so the Frenchman continued solo. Michael Woods (EF), third at the top, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) went in between but got reeled in 9km before the end while Alaphilippe forged on. He forced Team Ineos to ride behind him and managed to stay away. The Frenchman crossed the line with an advantage of 26’’ over Michael Matthews who outsprinted the rest of the main peloton. He’s the new leader of the Tour de France.
Conquistadors of the Day - Tour de France 2019
Stage 1 - Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)
Stage 2 - Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Stage 3 - Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
For the daily podcast from Le Tour and more visit velocast.cc.