With two second-place finishes, Julian Alaphilippe was one of the standout performers of the Ardennes Classics, but the 22-year-old is playing down his performances.
The Frenchman, the latest prodigy off the Etixx-Quick-Step production line, was runner-up to Alejandro Valverde at both Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
But Alaphilippe admits he still has a lot to learn about racing the one-day Classics and admitted the strongest rider won on both occasions.
“I’m a little frustrated by this second second place,” he told Sporza.
“I am satisfied with my condition, but I would not call my performance exceptional. Today I learned that I still need to have some patience and that I still have some work to close the gap with the best riders.”
“I still miss some experience and strength compared winner Valverde. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a race where you need to experience. This was my first participation, but I would like to return.”
Alaphilippe notched up Etixx-Quick-Step’s sixth and seventh runners-up spots in the Classics this season, with the Belgian team getting the top spot at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Strade Bianche and the Amstel Gold Race.