Thomas De Gendt is dubbed the king of the breakaways. Today, he joined a very early breakaway with three other riders. On a demanding, hilly course, De Gendt accelerated halfway, to remain in the front with only Italy's Alessandro De Marchi at his side. Despite the bunch never giving them too much freedom, the two kept a small bonus. On the last-but-one climb of the day, De Gendt went solo as he felt the fierce bunch coming nearer.
In the final, France's Julian Alaphilippe and Tour outsider Thibaut Pinot made a breakaway from a chasing peloton, but still De Gendt resisted. The East-Fleming won the stage after being in the offensive the whole stage, putting his hands on his head when crossing the finishline as if he couldn't believe it himself.
For his Belgian Lotto-Soudal team, it's the first stage win this Tour de France, after Caleb Ewan had a second and third place in the sprint. Moreover, Tim Wellens keeps his polkadot jersey. "I had a really good day", De Gendt commented. "This win is more beautiful than my win at Chalet Reynard on the Mont Ventoux, after fighting a whole day and keeping a small margin in the end."