The crossroads of Enric Mas
The Spaniard shines on the clock and is already fourth but his team could sacrifice their options to help Alaphilippe, leader
Go up to the podium to don the white jersey corresponding to the best youth of the Tour. Enric Mas (24 years old) is a very daring debutant. The Spanish is already fourth in the general classification of a race very open to the unexpected. Nobody rules and the surprises are permanent, the last one was played by Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman scored the victory in the Pau time trial (27.2 kilometers), a modality in which he should not feel too comfortable. But the leader was huge, beating in 14 seconds to Geraint Thomas, a specialist in the timed race.
Alaphilippe dazzled the French at the party commemorating the 100th anniversary of the yellow jersey. Before the stage of yesterday, tailors and sewers of the organization of the Tour carved the versatile French runner to make a leader's jersey with the exact measurements. Perfect design for a singular moment. At the podium of Pau had to come up with a unique garment, made for the famous occasion. Those responsible for the 'Grande Boucle' suspected that the cyclist of the Deceuninck would hold the momentum of the main candidates for the podium in Paris in the test yesterday and maintain its privileged position, so they measured the size of his arms, shoulders and back. Just in case, they also did the same with Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, the following in hierarchical order of the general.
And everything was aimed at the Welshman could take charge of the race. The route, by narrow paths and three small levels, benefited the conditions of the head of the Ineos, but the French was huge, not only was able to maintain its position, but won the time trial with great authority. He was first in the three intermediate steps and scored a final record of 35 minutes, 14 seconds less than Thomas (second of the stage).
Another triumph for Deceuninck's squad, one more success for Enric Mas's teammate, something that pleases Spanish, but could also hurt him in his individual options. The Spaniard, who does not feel inferior to any climber, yesterday was ninth, only 58 seconds behind the winner. He is fourth in the general classification, behind the Frenchman Thomas and the Dutchman Kruijswijk. Only 23 seconds separate him from the podium. However, he finds himself at a cumbersome crossroads.
The Spaniard can not attack because he must defend the interests of his leader, but he must not neglect the maneuvers of the Ineos greyhounds. He is tied and would only be released if Patrick Lefevere, the boss of the Deceuninck, gave him autonomy of movements, something complicated, because Alaphilippe, in addition to leader, is French and because the Spanish ends contract this season and everything indicates that he will not continue in the Belgian team The Movistar awaits you.