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If there was only one race to win, it would be the Tour de France: Julian Alaphilippe, 2020 UCI Road World Champion

New Delhi, November 18: Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe recently achieved one of the major feet in cycling by winning the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola at the end of September. On his way to the crown, he surpassed a challenge from Belgian Wout Van Aert who created headlines at this year's Tour de France for team Jumbo Visma and Swiss Cyclist Marc Hirschi.

On the back of his recent achievements, the World Champion in interaction with Eurosport France's Bistrot Vélo opened up about his World Championship win, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, crashing out of the Tour of Flanders and his dream to win the Tour de France.

Alaphilippe in the discussion, first of all, expressed his feelings after winning the UCI Road World Championship title and said, "To be World Champion is a goal I have set myself throughout my career. Not necessarily at the beginning, but the more the years went by, the more I told myself that I could. I continued to progress, I learned from my failures, from my mistakes. Year after year, we would arrive at the World Championships with ambitions, each time with a very strong team, and it worked. Making your dream come true is special! I learned to channel myself, to make the effort at the right time. On this point it is undeniable, I have passed a milestone and it has helped me to win big races. At the World Championships in Imola, that was all I had in mind and we had a team that was built around it. Everyone played the game and it worked well, so it's a satisfaction, happiness. It's something I'll never forget."

He further added, "It's a feeling that's hard to describe. You want to escape, you also want to take advantage of this state of euphoria, but at the same time, I immediately went on to the Classics which also remained an important objective for the end of my season. I was ready, I was motivated for the Classics and with the World Champion jersey, it was an additional motivation. So I didn't necessarily have the time to come back down and enjoy my jersey because I was already thinking about the Classics."

The reigning world champion was further asked if he had the chance of winning only one race which one would it be? Alaphilippe didn't even think twice and made the choice very clear saying, "After winning the World Championships, I would definitely like to win the Tour de France. It's the two races that have always made me dream. If there was only one race to win, it would be the Tour."

Alaphilippe also spoke about the massive accident on the 2020 Tour of Flanders which saw him collide with a motorbike and ruling him out of the competition. He went head over heels with his bike flying into the air, as he hit the deck, then screaming out in pain as medics rushed over to treat him.

While speaking to Eurosport France he said, "I don't blame Van der Poel, Van Aert or the bike at all. I don't blame anybody and I don't even blame myself because I didn't do anything wrong even if you can say that I was talking on the radio, where they often say that I look behind. Honestly, at that moment I couldn't do anything. These are race facts. Van Aert goes to get the bike's suction, Van der Poel avoids it at the last moment and he doesn't warn me, but I can't blame him: we are in the final of the Tour of Flanders and we don't necessarily think about warning of everything he passes on the road. I am the one who has taken it, that's how it is. There is no excuse to find an excuse. You have to bounce back."

Lastly, he gave his comments on his expectation from Tour de France 2021 and the 2021 season. Alaphilippe said, "It's a nice course that makes you want to do it with the first stages that suit me quite well. For the moment, we are still far from it. For the moment, I am just thinking about the preparation for the beginning of the season and the Tour always comes a little bit later. For the moment, we don't have an official calendar. We're still in discussion with the team; we'll establish all that perhaps after the first or second race. For sure, the Tour of Flanders is a race that I liked and I really want to come back to it. It will be part of my objectives for the beginning of the season next year. I think I'm going to make a big block at the beginning of the season with all the Classics but we haven't yet discussed this with the team but it could be part of the plans. Paris-Roubaix, it's possible later, but not necessarily next year."

Source: Media Release

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Story first published: Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 17:37 [IST]
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