By Jonny Long
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) is said to be irritated by the news a rider his coach and cousin, Franck Alaphilippe, previously coached has returned an EPO positive.
French rider Marion Sicot tested positive for the banned substance during doping control at the French time trial championships in June, where she came 10th. Sicot then pulled out of La Course, the women’s race run during the Tour de France, after being told of her positive.
The Frenchwoman blames the positive on her menstrual cycle and says she plans to challenge the ruling, with testing apparently able to tell if the EPO has been produced by the body or not.
Sicot is a relatively unknown rider, but the fact she was previously coached by Franck Alaphilippe has drawn interest. She says that Franck is not involved, as he had joined Deceuninck - Quick - Step before the French National Championships and was therefore not working with her, adding that he had only remotely coached her, emailing power data and exchanging training plans.
However, Julian Alaphilippe is still said to be angry with the story, according to Franck, who told L'Équipe: "This story irritates [Julian], I explained everything to him but he obviously does not want to hear about it," Franck explained, "it's hard for him. [It's] the first time I trained someone I did not know and it fell on me."
Franck has said he is "very disappointed and disgusted" that his name has been linked to the case, saying: "I had access to a summary of her previous workouts and I could see all profile records, but since the beginning of the year I have not seen any improvement in her performances."
Julian Alaphilippe will lead the line for the French national team at the Road World Championships in Yorkshire next weekend, and will be one of the favourites for the rainbow bands.
The 27-year-old has ridden a stellar 2019 which saw him win a number of Classics races in the Spring before a phenomenal Tour de France, which saw him win multiple stages and wear the yellow jersey for a fortnight.
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Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. 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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