'I don’t want to end my time with the regret of not ever trying': Julian Alaphilippe wants to try and win Tour de France before retiring

The double world champion will focus on the Classics in 2022 but still has an eye on the French Grand Tour

Julian Alaphilippe
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Julian Alaphilippe has said that he is keen to go for the overall at the Tour de France before he retires saying "I don’t want to end my time with the regret of not ever trying."

The two-time world champion, Alaphilippe has had yet another exceptional season with the Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider securing a second world title as well as wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour for a third year in a row.

But now Alaphilippe is looking to pick and choose his goals for the upcoming seasons, including the Tour overall title.

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Alaphilippe told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "In 2022 I’ll focus on the Classics and the Tour but I want to discover the Giro as soon as possible." 

When being asked about trying to win the Tour, which he so nearly did in 2019, "Never say never," was the answer.

"Why not think about it before the end of my career?" he continued. "There are a lot of questions to be asked and I’d need to speak to the team. But I don’t want to end my time with the regret of not ever trying."

In 2019 Alaphilippe led the race for 14 days, only losing the jersey twice, once to Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) - who took the jersey from the breakaway on stage six to the top of the Super Planche des Belles Filles before ceding it back to Alaphilippe two days later - and finally to Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) after the Colombian attacked solo on the Col de l'Iseran on stage 19. On that day the general classification times were taken at the top of the Iseran due to mudslides and extreme weather, which forced the race to be stopped before the final climb to Tignes.

"I’ve never raced a Grand Tour thinking of winning it," Alaphilippe said, "so there wasn’t the same pressure. But I can understand why it’s been difficult for [Thibaut] Pinot and [Romain] Bardet," Alaphilippe said. 

"When I was a kid I rode with my friends just for fun, even dreaming about riding the Tour de France seemed impossible. I never imagined I’d even turn professional, not even when I was a junior."

Alaphilippe is continuing with his team into 2022 as the squad changes from Deceuninck - Quick-Step to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.