Everything a bonus for Alaphilippe as World Championships come into focus

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For two weeks in early August, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) tried as best he could to take a break from being Loulou, the man who had so ignited home hopes on the Tour de France.

He had carried the maillot jaune for 14 days, reaching Paris in 5th overall, and while the precious garment can seemingly lend a rider wings, its demands can weigh a man down. Following the Clasica San Sebastian in late July, Alaphilippe eschewed the criterium circuit and left his bike aside altogether for the bones of a fortnight.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.