Tour de France 2019: Matteo Trentin wins stage 17 as Julian Alaphilippe stays in yellow jersey

Matteo Trentin wins stage 17 of the 2019 Tour de France
Matteo Trentin now has eight Grand Tour stage wins - three on the Tour de France, one at the Giro d'Italia and four at the Vuelta a Espana

Matteo Trentin broke clear to win stage 17 of the Tour de France, while Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall lead.

Trentin, 29, was part of a breakaway group on the 206km route before attacking on the final climb, which peaked 8.6km from the finish in Gap.

The Italian eased home for his third stage win - and first since 2014 - with Dane Kasper Asgreen 37 seconds back.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas finished in the peloton so remains 95 seconds behind Frenchman Alaphilippe.

The stage also saw Thomas' Ineos team-mate Luke Rowe and Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin expelled from the race following an in-race altercation between the team's respective road captains.

Trentin had been part of an initial 33-man group to ride clear early in the stage on the outskirts of Pont du Gard.

While Mitchelton-Scott's general classification hopes have faltered with leader Adam Yates falling out of the top 20, Trentin rode away from a vastly reduced group of six riders on the Col de la Sentinelle to record their fourth win at the Tour in 2019.

Speaking to ITV 4, Trentin said: "It was a really emotional finish. It was a super-strong group and it was amazing to ride away on a climb.

"With a big group it was always a case of anticipating. I knew if I got a 10-second gap I would have the legs to finish it off.

"The most important thing for me was to stick with my pace."

'It's three big days'

The race now moves into three potentially decisive stages in the Alps, before Sunday's processional ride into Paris.

With only 39 seconds separating Thomas in second from the German Emanuel Buchmann in sixth place, the battle in the mountains is likely to determine the eventual winner of this year's Tour.

First up is the 208km stage from Embrun to Valloire on Thursday, which will see the riders tackle four categorised climbs including hors categorie (HC) summits on the Col d'Izoard and the Col du Galibier.

The HC classification is given to climbs that are beyond categorisation and which are typically the most difficult ascents in the race.

Thomas believes it is a logical location to try to eat into the lead currently enjoyed by Alaphilippe, who struggled on the Prat d'Albis on Sunday.

"He obviously wasn't great a couple of days ago," Thomas said.

"You'd think he'd be starting to get tired now and that teams will want to make it hard all day. It's three big days now, so a lot can happen."

Stage 17 result

1. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott) 4hrs 21mins 36secs

2. Kasper Asgreen (Den/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +37secs

3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/CCC) +41secs

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

5. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida)

6. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa/Astana)

7. Daniel Oss (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +44secs

8. Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra/Cofidis) +50secs

9. Toms Skujins (Lat/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

10. Jesus Herrada (Spa/Cofidis) +55secs

General classification after stage 17

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck Quick-Step) 69hrs 39mins 16secs

2. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Ineos) +1min 35secs

3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 47secs

4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +1min 50secs

5. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos) +2mins 2secs

6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +2mins 14secs

7. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +4mins 54secs

8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +5mins

9. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +5mins 33secs

10. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +6mins 30secs

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