COLMAR (AFP) - Slovakia s Peter Sagan kept enough energy in reserve inside the hills of Alsace to win a reduced bunch dash for his 12th typical excursion de France degree win on Wednesday.

France s Julian Alaphilippe held onto the leader s yellow jersey and even had a tilt at the stage win with a downhill charge after the very last climb.

Alaphilippe, who become cheered during by way of French enthusiasts once more Wednesday, will begin leader for Thursday s first actual mountain take a look at that concludes with a hard summit finish within the Vosges.

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"My legs are killing me," said Alaphilippe, who took the overall lead on Monday with a gun-slinging offensive from 15 kilometres.

"the next day goes to be a big test, for me and everybody," said the 27-yr-antique former soldier.

Sagan s win could be famous with armchair fans as the charismatic former triple world champion, and 6-time green dash jersey winner, had had near misses to this point.

"I attempt each day, and then at some point you get it," stated the burly Sagan.

"I suffered a piece in the climbs. However I had to get into the sprint, i used to be affected person. I m 47 points in advance inside the race for the inexperienced jersey now."

Sagan grew to become on the power from one hundred fifty metres out to beat pre-race favourites along with Jumbo Visma s Wout van Aert, a breakout superstar of the race who came 2nd whilst Italy s Matteo Trentin got here 1/3.

Van Aert, riding in his debut tour considering changing from cyclo-move, closed in to within 14 seconds of the overall lead and continues his underneath-25 s white jersey because the buzz around him continues to grow.

protecting champion Geraint Thomas and his group Ineos co-captain Egan Bernal finished appropriately inside the % in Colmar after a degree that exceeded via vineyards and villages of picturesque half-timbered homes.

Thomas turned into typically dry when asked what he anticipated because the peloton headed off in the morning, saying: "I m anticipating the worst and hoping for the first-class."

The 2019 excursion, with little time-trialling and mountains galore, should show a climbers  dream.

On Wednesday, the specialist climbers and those who can hold up within the hills have been given a chance to unsheathe their swords on the slopes under the medieval Koenigsberg Chateau, the primary class climb of the excursion.

Welshman Thomas looked secure after the race.

"the following day s the massive day, that s wherein it all starts offevolved clearly," the 33-year-antique said.

What Thomas describes as  the huge day  is a seven mountain slog culminating in a summit end at l. A. Planche des Belles Filles in which 4-time excursion de France winner Chris Froome loved a breakout win in 2012.