“Reason must take precedence over the heart”


Virginie Phulpin, edited by Alexis Rey-Millet
modified to

11:28 a.m., June 28, 2022

Julian Alaphilippe will not participate in the Tour de France, his team, Quickstep, announced on Tuesday. After the serious injury suffered by the rider, the team wants to avoid any unnecessary risk. For our sports editorialist Virginie Phulpin, it is undoubtedly the right decision, but that does not prevent her from being sad for the double world champion.

EDITORIAL

“‘The heart has its reasons which reason does not know.’ Pascal’s thought applies perfectly to the absence of Julian Alaphilippe on the Tour de France.We had so many reasons in our hearts to want our world champion with his beautiful rainbow jersey on the roads of France. .. Him at the start is the guarantee of an unrivaled panache in the peloton, of racing instinct mixed with team spirit. It’s the memory and the hope of seeing him win stages dantesque and wearing the yellow jersey.Julian Alaphilippe is one of those athletes whose mere presence can transform a race into an epic, of those athletes who make our hearts beat to the rhythm of theirs.

A growing hope

His serious fall during the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège two months ago took our breath away. Serious injuries. His season could have been over. But the fighter that he is got back on his bike, he spun the wheels and gave us a little balm to our hearts. We so wanted to believe it. For him, and for the symbol of the resurrection.

When we saw Julian Alaphilippe very comfortable on Sunday during the French road cycling championships, with a decisive role in winning Florian Sénéchal, we didn’t need more. It’s good, he was back in the peloton! Even Thomas Voeckler, the coach of the France team, wanted to be reassuring. We were about to see him start with all the others from Denmark on Friday. Like the promise of a beautiful summer that is beginning.

His team did not consider him ready

This is the difference between dreams and reality. The many cycling enthusiasts in France were all surprised by this announcement, and disappointed, of course. But the reason must take precedence over the heart. That Julian Alaphilippe showed great things on Sunday is encouraging. Encouraging, but not enough. You cannot compare a one-day race with the demands of a Tour which lasts three weeks and which puts bodies and minds to the test in a different way. We may regret the absence of Julian Alaphilippe, Quickstep is right to play it safe. If the training had the guarantee that the physical condition of the runner was sufficient, it would not have been fun to put it aside.

We often push the cork too far with athletes, we pull on the rope, so let’s salute the wisdom of Quickstep’s decision. For the future of Julian Alaphilippe, the rest of his season. Even with full head of regrets. I am going to venture a ridiculous comparison. If this morning you offer me a bar of chocolate, I’m going to want to eat it all. And then I’m going to think about the upcoming holidays and the beach. And I will put it down. I assure you that it is not lightheartedly, but reason prevails.”


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