With his contract set to finish at the end of the year, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) has revealed he knows which team he will race with for the next two seasons.
Amidst speculation and transfer rumours, as is the case for all star riders coming to the end of a contract, Alaphilippe told French newspaper Le Berry Républican that a decision is not yet final but that a number of teams have expressed interest in signing him. The 26-year-old added that he has been in contact with one team in particular.
"Everyone knows that I am at the end of the contract at the end of the year," the Frenchman said. "It's pretty clear in my head today, I already have an idea of what I want.
"Many false things have been said. There are always a lot of rumours and gossip during this period."
After a spectacular Classics campaign, Alaphilippe will now turn his attention to the Tour de France, where he won two stages and took the king of the mountains classification in 2018.
After finishing his spring at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he won't race again until the Critérium du Dauphiné, starting on June 9, which Alaphilippe says "will give me the first clues about my form."
At La Doyenne, Alaphilippe finished a disappointing (for him) 16th place, compared to his 2019 Classics wins at La Flèche Wallonne and Milan - San Remo as well as second place at Brabantse Pijl and fourth in the Amstel Gold Race.
Alaphilippe says his Monument victory at Milan - San Remo took the pressure off his early season, allowing him to attack and express himself at the Amstel Gold Race, where he conspired with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to gift a victory to Mathieu van der Poel.
After Fuglsang was outdone by Alaphilippe at La Flèche Wallonne, the Dane finally came out on top at Liège, with Fuglsang saying Alaphilippe had told him mid-race that he hoped the Astana man would win.
"I simply told him that since we had a lot of fluff," Alaphilippe said, "that he also deserved to win one [a Classic]."
This didn't mean he was any less competitive at Liège, as Alaphilippe looked to add to his nine wins in just 29 days of racing. The Frenchman said: "I wanted to win, Liège is a race that makes you dream. But myself as well as the team cannot be in a state of exceptional form every day and it has turned into a perfect scenario for him [Fuglsang]."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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