Tour de France: “It Will Be A Bonus! »… How Long Can Julian Alaphilippe Keep the Yellow Jersey?

Tour de France
Julian Alaphilippe won the second stage of the Tour de France 2020

CYCLING: Julian Alaphilippe won the second stage of the Tour de France, in Nice, this Sunday. He will be in yellow this Monday and seems armed to defend the leader’s jersey for a few days

  • Julian Alaphilippe will probably not win the Tour de France. But the puncheur from Deceuninck-Quick Step, stage winner this Sunday in Nice, could once again afford a yellow epic.
  • The relatively affordable course the next week could allow him to arrive in the Pyrenees with the leader’s jersey in the general classification.
  • “The yellow jersey will be a bonus every day, we will continue to hunt for stages,” he said.

From our special correspondent in Nice,

Julian Alaphilippe hadn’t perspired enough. The heroic puncher’s body still had a few millilitres of water to lose, despite the five hours of effort in the dodger. He collapsed in tears after his victory in the second stage of the Tour de France, this Sunday in Nice.

A member of his team’s staff, Deceuninck-Quick Step, was there to take off his helmet, his glasses, hand him a mask and say a word of comfort to him. But Julian Alaphilippe took several minutes to come to his senses. As he passed the line, he had stretched a finger skyward, before punching his handlebars furiously. A tribute to his father, Jo, who died last June.

“It’s a special year: I haven’t won a race since the start of the season, I worked hard despite difficult times,” he confided, his throat knotted with tears: “I want to dedicate this victory to my dad. 

This is the fifth time that Julian Alaphilippe has raised his arms on the Tour de France. And, above all, he will wear this Monday the yellow jersey that suited him so well last summer. He had kept it for fourteen days. Is he able to repeat this feat? “The yellow jersey will be a bonus every day,” he replied, cautiously. We will continue to hunt for stages. We didn’t come here to win the Tour. ”

A “very strong” team and a favourable course

Bob Jungels, who prepared the ground for Julian Alaphilippe with a masterful acceleration, all the same recalled that the Deceuninck-Quick Step had the means to defend the yellow coat. “We have a very strong team, everyone is in good shape, we saw it on this stage,” he says with a satisfied smile.

The route of this atypical edition offers the first arrival at altitude from Tuesday, with an arrival at Orcières-Merlette, at 1,825 meters above sea level. A first-class pass, but nothing insurmountable for Julian Alaphilippe (7.1 kilometers at 6.7% average).

“I think he is able to keep the jersey on that day, it’s a pass for him,” said former cyclist Danny Nelissen, consultant on the Dutch channel Nos. For him, Julian Alaphilippe can even keep his yellow jersey until the arrival of the peloton in the Pyrenees, next weekend. “It also suits Jumbo-Visma and Ineos who do not have to tire themselves while driving at the front of the peloton,” recalls the former amateur world champion. His team is solid and Julian seems to be in an ascending form, as we saw on Milan San Remo (2nd). ”

The Frenchman will have to be wary of Primoz Roglic, who, like all favorites, is only 17 seconds behind. The former ski jumper showed on the Dauphiné that he was very strong in the small game of bonuses. But Julian Alaphilippe also knows how to jump at opportunities.

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