After his very short recovery on the Tour of Wallonia because of the Covid – he still had time to reassure himself by winning at the top of the Mur de Huy on the first day – Julien Alaphilippe will be Sunday, and this for the first time in his career, at the start of Tour of Leuven – Jef Scherens Memorial. On roads on request he had won, a little less than a year ago, his second title of world champion, the Frenchman of the The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team – which will then continue with the Ain tower (August 9-11), then normally the Tour of Spain (August 19 to September 11) – will try to restart the machine again. Not having any certainty as to his level, the 30-year-old runner approached this week of racing in the unknown, as he explained this Friday during a virtual press conference.
Video – Alaphilippe… before returning to Louvain almost a year later
“I have morale and I want to make an effort”
“I’m very happy to be back in the race, and especially there, in Louvain, where I have a lot of memories. Afterwards, I don’t really know how I feel. It was a few complicated days after the Tour de Wallonie , I was still sick and I did almost a week without training. But I want to run on Sunday, then on the Tour de l’Ain. It’s going to be pace and significant effort before going on La Vuelta, the goal being to have fun and see how I feel after the Covid.” In uncertainty on the physical plane, Julien Alaphilippe on the other hand feels good in the head before this recovery.
“I’m in good spirits, even if it was a bit hard to still have this setback on the Tour de Wallonie. I had the impression that everything was back to normal, I was super happy to have been able to win the 1st stage, but the next day I was completely stopped, I had really bad feelings and I had to leave the race with the Covid. There, the symptoms are gone, but I feel that there are still a little tired. The last days in training were not incredible, but I have the morale, I have the potato and I want to make efforts, hoping that bad luck will leave me a little alone .”
The world champion is back ðŸ¤Ÿ@alafpolak1 will be this Sunday at the start of the Tour de Louvain, which takes up some of the climbs used during last year’s Worlds, where Loulou triumphed after another masterclass ï¿½’ï¿½
— Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team (@qst_alphavinyl) August 3, 2022
“Since the start of the season, it hasn’t gone the way I wanted at all”
Falls at the start of the season, his accident at Liege-Bastogne-Liegethe Covid at Tour of Wallonia… the native of Saint-Amand-Montrond had a series of glitches in 2022, even though the previous seasons had been crowned with success. “We have to take a step back from all this”he replies when asked how he sees the situation. “I’ve managed to string together several high-level seasons, without major setbacks and with quite a few results, but this year, I don’t feel like I have much of the wind at my back. Since the start of the season, It didn’t go at all the way I wanted it to, but you have to adapt, there’s no choice, and above all keep your spirits up and not worry about your fate. The Vuelta, the Worlds and the Tour of Lombardy, there are only good things to take, so I hope it will come back.”
I refused positive to start this morning on the Tour de Wallonie following a Covid 19 test.
Sad to leave the team, with also the abandonment of Dries on a fall yesterday. pic.twitter.com/CERmVcMdys
– Julian Alaphilippe Official (@alafpolak1) July 25, 2022
“If I can be 100% on at least one important day by the end of the season…”
Logically not feeling at the top of his game yet – “I’m definitely not in top form” – but believing that he is not on the street either – “I’m not lacking in condition because I had done everything to get back to normal on the Tour de Wallonie, and it had started rather well” – Julien Alphaphilippe expressed a wish for the end of the season. “If I can get back to my best level and be 100% on at least one important day by the end of the season – whether there’s a win or not at the end – I’ll be super happy, I won’t have of regrets and it would be a successful bet for me”concluded the one who should have formed a formidable duo with Remco Evenepoel on the next Tour of Spain (August 19 – September 11).