Tony Gallopin. A Frenchman in yellow for Bastille Day. It’s so French you could keep cheese in it. Last time that a Frenchman took the lead in the Tour de France it was Tommy Voeckler in 2011. The time before that was 2004, and that was Tommy Voeckler as well.
Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) is from one of the grand families of French cycling. His father Joel and uncle Guy rode ten Tours de France between them in the 1970s and 80s. His uncle Guy was French time-trial champion, and is now a directeur sportif at Trek Factory Racing. But Tony will take pride of place in the family’s palmares as the first Gallopin to wear yellow.
His directeur sportif at Lotto-Belisol, Marc Wauters, said, “Getting the jersey was never the plan to day. We were thinking about maybe the stage victory – but Tony Martin was too strong. So then we started to think about the lead. We’ll certainly try to control the race tomorrow to Planche des Belle Filles – but remember that Tony isn’t our main GC rider, that’s Van Den Broeck.”
Meanwhile, at Astana, who’d let the jersey go, team spokesman Chris Baldwin said, “It’s a calculated risk. As us if it was smart at the end of the race. But we don’t have to work tomorrow now. It’s Bastille Day, with a Frenchman in yellow, and that means the pressure is off us until at least after Tuesday’s rest day.”