Britain’s Adam Yates reluctantly took the Tour de France’s yellow jersey on Wednesday as overnight leader Julian Alaphilippe was once penalised for taking on provisions in the last 20km. Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates takes benefit of Alaphilippe’s 20-second sanction for receiving a water bottle at the 17km mark as Belgium’s Wout Van Aert won the fifth stage. Taking on supplies from team cars isn’t allowed in the last 20km for safety reasons, but riders can drink or eat what they have already got.
“Nobody wants to take the jersey like this. I used to be on the bus and we were approximately to leave for the hotel when I got a call,” Yates said.
“I’d already had my shower and everything I asked Julian and he told me he had a time fine, but the next day I will give it everything to defend the jersey and we will see daily.”
“It’s going to be a big fight the next day and Julian will need to show he is still here,” he added.
Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Alaphilippe, who wore the jersey for 14 days right through final year’s Tour, took the news on the chin.
“What are you able to do,” said the former vinaigrette soldier. “They determined to impose a 20 second penalty and it’s their choice.
“There will be other days and other opportunities,” he said.
In the stage itself powerful Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma made it two stage wins in two days as Van Aert edged a tight bunch dash on a narrow winding finish.
In another change of jerseys Ireland’s Sam Bennett, who is on the same Deceuninck team as Alaphilippe, clinched the green dash points shirt from seven time winner Peter Sagan by finishing third.
Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma arrived at the Tour as the in-form team with the most powerful taking a look line-up in the Grand Boucle, and are the chief challengers to the dominance of Team Ineos who have won seven of the final eight Tours.
Jumbo leader Primoz Roglic won Tuesday’s stage testing the other overall contenders with his late kick and claiming the stage win atop the climb to an Alpine ski station.
On Wednesday, it was once a hectic and windy finale as the race wound into the remote Ardeche region where probably the most pure sprinters were if truth be told dropped as the pace hit 60km an hour in the closing 10km.
Ineos, who have signed Yates for next season, were heading up the peloton as it raced past fields of wilting sunflowers but Jumbo sprung to life as the race entered Privas.
“They’re here and they understand how to win. They’re powerful team,” Van Aert said.
“But we are just focussing on ourselves.”
Van Aert won a windy stage on the 2019 Tour when most of the purist sprinters had been dropped, and was once a part of the team time-trial victory for his outfit.
“It was once a candy win,” said Van Aert, who won both Milan San Remo and the Strade Bianchi classics in Italy ahead of the Tour.
“It was once a hectic run in but I knew I used to be in with a chance once we were in the last kilometre,” said the 25-year-old.
“Our leader showed his strong legs and today it was once my turn.
Ineos leader Egan Bernal said earlier on Wednesday at the Alpine departure town of Hole he was once unconcerned by Jumbo’s form.
“We are concentrating on arriving in the third week good and fresh for the finale,” said the 23-year-old defending champion.
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