Julian Alaphilippe: I couldn’t have done much more at Milan-San Remo

SANREMO ITALY MARCH 20 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep during the 112th MilanoSanremo 2021 a 299km race from Milano to Sanremo Poggio di San Sanremo 160m MilanoSanremo La Classicissima UCIWT on March 20 2021 in Sanremo Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-QuickStep was part of elite group of 12 riders to make separation over the Poggio (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

For the third year in succession, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) accelerated forcefully on the upper slopes of the Poggio, but this time the world champion was unable to shuffle the deck to his liking at Milan-San Remo.

A dozen or so riders remained in contact at the summit, with more catching back on the sinuous drop back into town. Men who expected Alaphilippe to put the race beyond their reach on the Poggio, including Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), now suddenly realised that they could reach out and grab it for themselves.

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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.