Roglic wins the mountain stage of the Tour de France, Alaphilippe stays in yellow


ORCIERES-MERLETTE, France – Primoz Roglic asserted his Tour de France credentials with a victory in the first mountain stage on Tuesday as Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey of the race leader.

Roglic, a former Slovenian ski jumper who won the Spanish Vuelta last year, claimed his third career stage victory in the three-week race in the alpine town of Orcières-Merlette.

The 160.5 kilometer (100 mile) trek in the Hautes-Alpes marked the first peak of the race this year, with a final 7 kilometer climb to the ski resort where Luis Ocana handed over to Eddy Merckx, five-time winner of the Tour, a resounding defeat. in 1971.

Roglic couldn’t get rid of any of his main rivals on the final climb but used his power to win in the sprint launched by Frenchman Guillaume Martin 500 meters from the end. Roglic hit a speed of 52 km / h (32 mph) as he raised both arms to cross the line.

“It was a pretty quick day, it was tough but the guys again did a really good job,” said Roglic, thanking his teammates for their support on the final climb. “I was still in a good position so I was able to have a good sprint, so I’m very happy.

With his victory, Roglic erased any doubts surrounding his form following his withdrawal from the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month due to injuries he sustained in a crash.

“I’m coming back,” Roglic said. “We can see that I can run and every day I feel a little better. It’s nice to be able to ride again. I have already had proof that I was ready to go. Now we have to keep doing a good job with the whole team. ”

Roglic is the first to pass Tadej Pogacar and Guillaume Martin. At the same time, Alaphilippe finished fifth behind Colombian climber Nairo Quintana.


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