Alaphilipp­e, Pinot boost French hopes

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports -

Ju­lian Alaphilipp­e and Thibaut Pinot were in the mood for fire­works a day in ad­vance at the Tour de France. Car­ry­ing the hopes of a coun­try that has not seen a homegrown Tour win­ner in 34 years, the French pair emerged as big win­ners on Satur­day of the pun­ish­ing Stage 8 which saw Geraint Thomas crash and lose ground in the de­fense of his ti­tle.

After five hours of ex­haus­tion on the sad­dle across seven short but pun­ish­ing climbs, Alaphilipp­e claimed back the yel­low jer­sey with one of his trade­marks at­tacks, while Pinot as­serted him­self as a strong con­tender for the fi­nal vic­tory.

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