Tour de la Provence - preview

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step AlphaVinyl)
Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) (Image credit: Getty Images)

At times last spring, Julian Alaphilippe seemed to ride as though every race in the rainbow jersey might be his last, as though no effort could be spared. The Tour de la Provence was a case in point, as he flung himself onto the offensive on the opening stage and then, after being caught in the finale, somehow conjured up the strength to help tee up teammate Davide Ballerini for stage victory in the sprint. He finished the event in second place overall after battling to follow Egan Bernal and Ivan Sosa up Mont Ventoux.

“It made me make some mistakes sometimes, through my impatience to win, by wanting to show the jersey all the time, to honour it, to make it shine as best I could,” Alaphilippe confessed in September as he reflected on his first season in the rainbow bands.

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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.

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