Julian Alaphilippe confirmed to ride Tour of Britain 2021

The world champion returns for the first time since he won the race in 2018

Julian Alaphilippe
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Julian Alaphilippe has been confirmed for the Tour of Britain in 2021 in his first appearance since he won the race back in 2018.

Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) has not raced much since the Tour de France where he won the opening stage and wore the yellow jersey for a day. Since then he has raced at the Clásica San Sebastian finishing sixth and most recently the Belgian Druivenkoers in Overijse, where he managed a solid 13th with his team-mates taking first, second and fourth.

The 29-year-old Frenchman is building up to his defence of the world title he won last year in Imola, Italy. This year the World Championships are being held in Leuven, Belgium, which suits the star rider's credentials. 

"I am really looking forward to racing the Tour of Britain, which will be my last in the rainbow jersey, that I have been so proud to wear for the last 12 months," Alaphilippe said of his upcoming return to the UK.

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"I had a successful race in Britain the last time I was there in 2018, and I know it will be a hard-fought race this time. It will be the perfect race for me to take on, ahead of the World Championships. We come here with a strong team and will look to race hard, as we always do."

Alaphilippe joins his team-mate Mark Cavendish as well as Belgian champion Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) as the first three riders announced to be starting the eight-day race around Great Britain.

It's a course that suits Alaphilippe and Van Aert very well with multiple hilly stages including a summit finish on the Great Orme in Llandudno, Wales. Also included in the route is a team time trial which should open up the general classification on stage three.

By his high standards, Alaphilippe has not had his best season with just three wins to his name. A stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, Flèche Wallonne, and the previously mentioned Tour stage. 

It is not yet known how the rest of the Deceuninck - Quick-Step team will look at the race but it is likely to be a very strong one when the first two riders announced are Cavendish and Alaphilippe.

The Tour of Britain starts on Sunday, September 5 in Penzance, Cornwall and finishes eight days later in Aberdeen, Scotland on Sunday, September 12.

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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.