The French Julian Alaphilippe, double world champion in title, will not participate in the Tour de France which starts Friday from Copenhagen, his name not appearing in the list of riders selected for the race unveiled Monday by his Quick-Step team. Julian Alaphilippe only resumed competition on Sunday, in the French championship, two months after a heavy fall in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
The Quick-Step team has also decided to do without Briton Mark Cavendish, who equaled Eddy Merckx’s record for stage victories in the Tour last summer (34) and won the title of champion of Britain. The Belgian team led by Patrick Lefevere favored Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen, as they had planned to do from the start of the season.
The fall of April 24 in question
For Julian Alaphilippe, one of its leaders, the absence is explained by the seriousness of his fall, on April 24, in the “Doyenne” of the classics and its consequences. Since 2018, the Frenchman has shone at each edition of the Tour. Especially in 2019 when he won two stages and wore the yellow jersey for fourteen days before finally taking fifth place.
After his serious fall resulting in a hemopneumothorax, a fractured scapula and two broken ribs, Alaphilippe had embarked on a real time trial to recover and get back in shape in time to hope to be at the start of the Tour . “Alaf” returned to competition on Sunday in Cholet and contributed to the victory of his teammate Florian Sénéchal, also excluded from the list of eight riders selected by Quick-Step for the Tour.
“One of the team’s most emblematic riders”
“I really came to see where I was, to make an effort. I can’t say that I had a lot of fun but I was better than I thought, so I’m happy”, commented after his 13th place the world champion who hoped to run the Tour. In a press release, Tom Steels, sporting director of Quick-Step, underlines that “the decision to leave Julian at home was very difficult since he is one of the most emblematic riders of the team”.
“Julian, he adds, has worked hard to get back in shape after what happened to him in Liège, but for a rider like him it is always important to be at the top of his game and to to be able to fight with the best riders in the peloton (…) That’s why we decided to give him more time to recover.”