Toulouse, France: Yellow jersey holder Julian Alaphilippe says his Tour de France is already a success, no matter what happens when the race resumes after Tuesday’s rest day.
“Before the Tour, I wanted to do well [in the first 10 days],” he told a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s 167-kilometre stage 11 from Albi to Toulouse.
“I worked hard with that in mind which is why I am not thinking too much about the end of the Tour but more about what I have achieved over these opening 10 days.
“It’s way beyond anything I imagined. My Tour is already a success. Anything that happens now is a bonus.”
The 27-year-old Frenchman, who earlier this season won the Milan-San Remo and La Fleche Wallone one day races, has had two spells in yellow on this Tour.
After winning stage three in the champagne region, he became the first Frenchman since Tony Gallopin in 2014 to wear it, holding it for three days before handing it over after stage six.
He then reclaimed it again after stage eight when he finished third in Saint-Etienne, donning it on Bastille Day.
Alaphilippe has a lead of one minute 12 seconds over defending champion Geraint Thomas with the Welshman’s Ineos teammate Egan Bernal just four seconds further back.
Thomas, a two-time Olympic track gold medallist, is expected to press for the race lead during Friday’s time trial in Pau.
“I am happy to be doing a sprinter’s stage [Wednesday] with the yellow jersey and that should give me another day in yellow as long as there isn’t a glitch,” said Alaphilippe.