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Julian Alaphilippe set to miss La Flèche Wallonne after Worlds win

Julian Alaphilippe riding to victory at the Worlds road race in Imola (Image credit: Getty Images)

New world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) will not make his debut in the rainbow stripes at La Flèche Wallonne, despite having previously been named in the Belgian squad's team for the race.

The Frenchman will race next at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the race he finished second at in 2015. Citing a need to recover from Sunday's Worlds road race in Imola, Alaphilippe will now miss Wednesday's Ardennes Classics opener and return to racing in Liège on October 4.

"It is true that it will be a little bit complicated," he told RMC Sport. "I've already told the team that I don't think I will do La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.

"It will be a little bit borderline. In terms of physical and emotional recovery, it's not necessarily the right choice to be at Flèche Wallonne."

Alaphilippe, who took the win in Imola after attacking on the final climb of the 258km race and soloing home, was set to close his 2020 campaign out with the full complement of Ardennes Classics before riding the Tour of Flanders.

However, now his focus will be from Liège-Bastogne-Liège onwards, he said. He has won La Flèche Wallonne in each of the past two seasons but is still looking for his first win at La Doyenne.

"I prefer to concentrate on Liège-Bastogne-Liège and everything that is going to happen afterwards," he said.

"It would be a good choice to miss La Flèche Wallonne, knowing that I have already finished second and win it twice. I prefer to savour the jersey, recover, and get back down a little bit from this incredible day."

Alaphilippe will be replaced by Tim Declercq. The Belgian will be joined at Flèche by Andrea Bagioli, Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, Ian Garrison, Bob Jungels and Mauri Vansevenant. 

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