Julian Alaphilippe had a droomseizoen in 2018 with twelve victories. Outliers were two stage wins and the mountains jersey in the Tour de France, the Clasica San Sebastian and the victory in the Flèche wallonne, where he Alejandro Valverde leaving.
Furthermore, there was also a stage and the overall victory in the Tour of Slovenia, a stage and overall victory in the Tour of Britain, a victory in the Dauphiné, two stage wins in the Tour of the Basque country and a stage in the Colombian stage race Oro y Paz.
Julian Alaphilippe (26) kicks the new season off again in South America. This time not in the Colombia Oro y Paz, but in the Argentinean Vuelta a San Juan on January 27. Then follows the Colombian stage race from 12 to 17 February. Furthermore, he will next season, Paris-Nice pass and he takes part in the Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico. His first race on French soil is perhaps the Dauphiné.
“I change like to get my program,” he says on the winter training of Decuninck – Quick-Step in the Spanish Calpe. “I start without pressure in Colombia, I don’t have to win, and that course fits perfectly into my preparation for the spring. Of course, as a cyclist, I am anywhere where I have to start ambitious, but it is not a must. Then, follow the Italian courses where I really feel like.”
“Bar is high”
He Start that new season with more pressure after produced successful? “What I last season for each other have brought is indeed big. That you realize if you’re there in the winter on back. During the season you are less busy or you are less aware of it. The bar is indeed high and it will indeed be very difficult to achieve in 2019. On the other hand, you should not be too much to look behind. In 2019, the counter is reset to zero, now it is important to look forward.”
“It was a long season”, he asked. “I started in Colombia and ended at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS. That result was a bit disappointing. I was the big favorite and was the eighth. I just didn’t have the legs. Of course, that was a disappointment, and after that world cup I had need of a long break, get away from the course, for weeks without sport. I enjoyed my vacation, my time with family and friends. I really need to calm down and the batteries recharge.”
“I would like to have a Monument win. Who’s not”, he chuckled. “I’m going to do everything to achieve that. In Milan-Sanremo I was already the third (after a sprint with Kwiatkowski and Sagan), but it is a mind-blowing course to win. Thereafter, the Ardennes races again an important objective. Last year I managed to get the Walloon Arrow finally win, now I hope to find success in La Doyenne.”