Tour de France – Julian Alaphilippe: “I want to become the real Julian again”

Tour de France – Julian Alaphilippe: “I want to become the real Julian again”

This is obviously the information that makes the headlines at the start of the week, now three days before the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2022 from Copenhagen on Friday: Julian Alaphilippe won’t be part of the next one Big loopnot retained by his training Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. After quickly explaining himself via a press release from his team, the star of the French peloton confided in more detail on the reasons for this non-participation in the Round – but also on his fall, its consequences and the rest of his season – in an interview granted this Monday to The Team. Decryption.

Video – Julian Alaphilippe the great absentee from the Tour de France 2022!

“I couldn’t bear to spend my month of July suffering, just being there to please people”

There was a big part of me that hoped to do it, that thought it was possible. But the other part was much more realistic because I know how hard this race is, what it demands. Over the past three years, I have always taken to the start of the Tour in full possession of my faculties. There, I feel tired, diminished. I don’t know if I could have been competitive over three weeks“, describes the double world champion, lucid and understanding about his non-selection. I understand. Yesterday (Sunday), at the French Championship, I really suffered when I was in a supporting role. On the Tour, I couldn’t have afforded to stay warm in the peloton. I couldn’t bear to spend my month of July suffering, just being there to please people. I would have liked to be efficient but I am too limited“.

“I’m not the same as before, that’s for sure. I’ve changed, I take things differently”

The native of Saint-Amand-Montrond then returned on his fall Liege-Bastogne-Liege and its chilling circumstances. “I remember the sound of the impact. What struck me the most was the fact of being in respiratory distress, of feeling this thing that invades you… (he stops) You can’t do anything, you can’t control anything anymore. You almost see yourself leaving… It moves me to talk about it again. I haven’t done much to move on, not to stir up this pain, this shock. In addition, no one had seen me in the ditch, apart from Romain (Bardet) who tried to help me when he saw my condition. I will be eternally grateful to him for his gesture towards me. Going back to all that, it still does something to me today…

Like other runners who have been left traumatized after a serious incident, Julian Alaphilippe seems to have experienced a real turning point in his career with this violent fall. “I’m not the same as before, that’s for sure. Before this fall, I had already experienced a very complicated sporting year, I was not always where I wanted to be physically. There were a lot of setbacks, I was sick, I fell three times, I asked myself a lot of questions. This fall in Liège added to all this and left its mark. It’s by far the biggest of my career, it changed a lot of things. She’s part of me, she’s the reason I’m like this now. I changed, I take things differently“.

“I want to find pleasure and victories. I want bad luck to leave me alone”

And this, especially since the cycling champion is now the father of a little boy. His family, he was able to enjoy it during his convalescence, thus helping him to overcome this difficult period. I didn’t even want to think about the bike. The ribs that had punctured my lung stayed broken for a long time. The first two weeks were very painful, for sleeping, for everything. I watched TV a lot, I enjoyed my little one (Nino), it was difficult because I couldn’t even carry him. I was able to count on Marion (Rousse, his companion). They helped me hold my head up high“.

But his absence from the high mass in July can allow alaphilippe to fully prepare for the end of the season which still promises to be rich in objectives, in particular with the Classic BrittanyCanadian classics, Vueltathe Tour of Lombardy… But above all a potential third world crown in a row in Australia. “I will develop a program with Franck and go on an internship in Livigno (Italy). After that, I want to find pleasure and victories. I want bad luck to leave me alone. I want to brush off these last six months, move on. I want to be the real Julian again“.

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