Julian Alaphilippe: 'I hope Philippe Gilbert can make it' five Monument victories at Milan - San Remo

The Frenchman praises rivals Wout van Aert and Philippe Gilbert but has also found extra motivation to defend his title

Julian Alaphilippe after Strade Bianche 2020 (Jonny Long)

It's a testament to Julian Alaphilippe's character that he can appear so calm and composed despite the past few weeks he's had.

His father, Jacques, passed away after a long illness at the end of June, while his return to racing at Strade Bianche was beset by a series of unfortunate punctures.

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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.