He’s back! Alaphilippe takes emotional win at Tour de France

Sports

France’s showman is back making a splash at the Tour de France

Tour de France

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, center, rides in the pack during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 156 kilometers (97 miles) with start and finish in Nice, southern France, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

NICE, France (AP) — France’s showman is back making a splash at the Tour de France.

Julian Alaphilippe, the rider who more than any other helped turn the 2019 edition into a thriller, again showered the Tour with his class and guile Sunday, poaching victory on Stage 2 in the picture-postcard Mediterranean city of Nice.

Alaphilippe timed his final sprint with precision to hold off two pursuers and the main pack furiously gaining ground on the finishing straight.

The stage win, his fifth in four Tours, is sure to anchor his status as the darling of French cycling fans, conquered by his thrilling riding at last year’s edition, when he held the race lead for 14 days.

Alaphilippe kissed his finger and raised it to the sky as he crossed the line, an apparent tribute to his recently deceased father.

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