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Tour de France 2019: Alaphilippe escapes penalty after being pushed [video]

Yellow jersey wearer Julian Alaphilippe avoided a penalty after footage emerged of him being given a push during Stage 18 of the 2019 Tour de France on the Col du Galibier.

The Frenchman has been the surprise leader of this year’s race and will count himself lucky after not being penalised for the incident. His soigneur, however, was fined for his behaviour.

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But the incident is similar to one on another Grand Tour for which the rider was penalised.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) received two pushes from fans on the Giro d’Italia and given a ten-second penalty.

The incident happened on Stage 18 of the 2019 Tour de France, right as he was started to falter and as he ws dropped from the main group.

Alaphillipe eventually caught up with the general classification group and made up good time with incredible work on the descent.

The fine was handed down to Tom Steels, the pusher in question. He was ordered to pay 500 Swiss Francs (£404).

This penalty was handed out under the UCI’s Article 2.12.007/8.1, which punishes those who fail to “respect instructions, improper, dangers or violent behaviour, damage to the environment or the image of the sport”.

Many feel that although the push was for a short time, the fact that the boost came from somebody on his team makes it different to random spectators giving riders a push.

Watch: Alaphilippe gets push from soigneur

Alaphilippe is bidding to become the first French winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985.

Friday’s short 129km run takes in a 2770m peak, followed by a 20km descent before another ascent to the ski station at Tignes.

The French heatwave of these past two days will make way for storms, complicating the action and making a perilous occupation even more so on the descents where Alaphilippe, or “the darling of France” as third-placed 2018 champion Geraint Thomas describes him, excels.

“There are two summit finishes to go,” said French hopeful Thibaut Pinot, who is currently fifth.

“And we can expect quite a bit of action on both of them. Movistar and Ineos will make sure of that,” added Pinot of Thomas’s team and that of Thursday’s winner Naro Quintana, a Colombian climb specialist who thrived at altitude to win by over five minutes.

Tour de France 2019: Stage 19

Distance: 126,5km
Profile: The riders hit the highest point of this year’s tour on the Col de L’Iseran.

bf56fa07 stage 19 - Tour de France 2019: Alaphilippe escapes penalty after being pushed [video]

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