Julian Alaphilippe 'not at 100 per cent' for Tour de la Provence after recent illness

Julian Alaphilippe
Julian Alaphilippe (Image credit: Getty)

Twelve months ago, Julian Alaphilippe hit the ground running at the Tour de la Provence, seemingly eager to distil every last ounce of value from his tenure in the rainbow jersey. A year on, the world title remains in his possession but, for reasons both planned and unforeseen, there is not quite the same urgency as he embarks on a new campaign in the south of France on Thursday.

Alaphilippe’s decision to forgo the cobbled Classics this year in favour of the Ardennes already implied that early form would not be as imperative in 2022 – Liège-Bastogne-Liège is over 10 weeks away, after all – and a bout of illness last month has stalled his build-up still further.

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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.