Two months after his heavy fall in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) made his return to the French Championship on Sunday and claims to have felt “better (than he) thought”. But the double world champion (2020, 2021), who has not carried out the optimal preparation, no longer fits into the plans of the Quick-Step team for the next Tour de France.
As we have learned from official sources, and as mentioned by Het Nieuwsblad Monday morning, Alaphilippe will not appear in the workforce of the Belgian formation for the Grande Boucle, which starts Friday from Copenhagen. This will make sprinter Fabio Jakobsen its headliner, which should also rule out Mark Cavendish, winner of three stages last summer and crowned British road champion on Sunday.
His team fears he can’t go the distance
While Alaphilippe showed very positive signs in the Championship road race on Sunday, his team fears he won’t be able to go the distance on such a long and demanding event as the Tour de France. “The decisive question is: will the Tour help him to progress or will it be counterproductive for Julian? confided his trainer, Franck Alaphilippe, on Sunday. Above all, we don’t want to do anything stupid by selecting it if its condition is not sufficient. »
Recovered from the serious injuries suffered on the Doyenne at the end of April, the world champion had resumed training on rollers in mid-May, then on the road a few days later, even participating in a three-week altitude training course in Sierra Nevada (Spain). . On his return, he contracted gastro, which forced him to spend a few days without a bike. On Sunday, for his return to competition, he put his teammate Florian Sénéchal into orbit during the 12th and last lap of the circuit in Cholet. Its sports management judged that this return was not enough to justify its place at the start of the Tour, even if the rider himself wanted to.