Julian Alaphilippe is the new leader of this year's Tour de France following victory on stage 3 into Épernay.
In the process, the Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider becomes the first French wearer of yellow jersey on Le Tour since Tony Gallopin claimed the lead the day before Bastille Day in 2014. Alaphilippe also ends the longest period without a yellow jersey for French riders outside of wartime.
After the first two stages in Belgium, it seems fitting that the maillot jaune fall into French hands on the first stage of this year's Tour on French soil
Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) both finished safely within the peloton, 31 seconds down on Alaphilippe.
🎉 @alafpolak1 is the first to cross the finish in Épernay!
Look at that reaction!
🎉 Julian Alaphilippe est le premier à se hisser jusqu’à la ligne d’arrivée à Épernay !
Savourez sa réaction !#TDF2019 pic.twitter.com/MyGrcjBk9R
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 8, 2019
Alaphilppe made his move 15km from the end of today's stage, pulling away from both Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). His margin of victory was enough to wreslte the yellow jersey away from Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo–Visma). The 27-year old was too strong over the closing kilometres for Tim Wellens, who had dictated the pace for the guts of today's stage.
Speaking to reporters after the win, Alaphilippe was an emotional figure, "I’m speechless. I don’t realize what’s happening to me. I knew this stage suited me.
"I managed to avoid any pitfalls and crashes. I felt good so I accelerated in the Mutigny climb but I didn’t think I’d go alone.
"I gave everything. I heard I was 30 or 40 seconds ahead. It’s difficult to meet the expectations of being the favourite. I made it. I’m delighted."
Alaphilippe now holds a 20-second lead on general classification over Belgium's Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), with Steven Kruijswijk and George Bennett (both Team Jumbo-Visma) a further 5-seconds begind.
Roche sits in 19th on general classification, an even minute behind Alaphilippe, with Martin 1'28" down in 38th.
Tomorrow's 4th stage is a largely flat 213.5km from Reims to Nancy.