As he prepares to bring his rainbow jersey back into play, Julian Alaphilippe gave Thomas Voeckler a cold sweat last year in Leuven.
On this occasion, Julian Alaphilippe will have a hard time keeping his rainbow jersey again. The blame for a dark season that saw him multiply the falls and the passages to the infirmary. But the two-time world champion can count on Thomas Voeckler to build an ambitious plan. Whether for the Quick-Step runner or for another. “I am not the only leader”warned the native of Saint-Amand-Montrond when not considered ” rotten “, neither “100%”.
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It was quite different last year on the roads he knows by heart, around Leuven. And the tricolor coach had it all planned, like this attack 200 kilometers from the finish line. “How many Worlds have been announced super hard and ended in a sprint? In Louvain, if we left a breakaway of four or five guys for 180 terminals and only 70 kilometers of fighting, well, there would be a lot more people than that.reviewed Thomas Voeckler at The team.
In the end, the offensives of Benoit Cosnefroy, Arnaud Démare, Christophe Laporte or Valentin Madouas drained the peloton, there are only 17 left in about twenty kilometers, including three French: Valentin Madouas, Florian Sénéchal and Julian Alaphilippe. The plan is proceeding as planned. But that without taking into account the doubts of the current champion, crowned in Imola the previous season.
“At that time, I know that there is not much time because the barriers will be lowered. I am about to reassure him, tell him that everything is fine and then he tells me “we are doing everything for Senech”, he said. I think to myself, it’s not possible, we’ve been at this for four days and he’s saying that. At the same time, I know that he just needs reassurance. But I yelled at him: “You’re kidding me, you’re world champion, you’re 3 out of 17, it’s not complicated. Sénech is our sprint card, Valentin works for you and you, you attack and run on instinct. » But when he attacked again, I admit I thought he was far away. »
After the race Thomas Voeckler explained that Julian Alaphilippe had ignored instructions. ” I told him to follow the attacks and then respond, but he did the exact opposite. He attacked multiple times on his account. He scared me just the same, this idiot…», it was fun