Wout van Aert: 'Julian Alaphilippe was stronger than the whole bunch, I couldn't do more'

The Belgian missed out on the opportunity to take the yellow jersey in his debut Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert says it hurts to come so close to the Tour de France's yellow jersey and miss out, but says he couldn't have done anything to stop Julian Alaphilippe on Monday's stage three.

Alaphilippe took a magnificent solo victory and the yellow jersey to Épernay after attacking on the final classified climb with 16km remaining. The Frenchman took the overall lead from Van Aert's team-mate Mike Teunissen, who was dropped on the early slopes of the final climb.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).