Julian Alaphilippe has been given the leadership of the French national squad for the upcoming Yorkshire World Championships, with the goal of returning the rainbow bands to France for the first time since Laurent Brochard in San Sebastián in 1997.
After an outstanding early 2019 that saw the Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider victorious at Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and La Flèche Wallonne, Alaphilippe also captured the hearts and minds of the home nation at the Tour de France, winning two stages and wearing the yellow jersey for 14 days before finishing fifth overall.
He will now look to cap off a distinguished season with a win in the road race at the Yorkshire Worlds, where he will face stiff competition from the likes of Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) and three-time world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Alaphilippe will be supported by the veteran Tony Gallopin (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Christophe Laporte (Cofidis). Two Deceuninck - Quick-Step team-mates also make the squad, Florian Sénéchal and Rémi Cavagna, the 24-year-old currently riding the Vuelta a España for the Belgian team. Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) and Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) complete the eight-man squad.
Following the Tour de France, Alaphilippe abandoned the Clásica San Sebastián early in the race, clearly still paying for his efforts in the French Grand Tour. He then raced the Deutschland Tour, alongside Geraint Thomas (Ineos), but didn't trouble any of the classifications or compete for stage victories.
Colombia have announced that Egan Bernal (Ineos) will ride his first Worlds in Yorkshire, which will also be his first ever race in the UK.
Meanwhile, Great Britain have announced their longlists for the four men's and women's squads across both road and time trial disciplines.
Geraint Thomas, Simon and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), British road race champion Ben Swift (Ineos), as well as Luke Rowe (Ineos) and Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) are amongst the riders competing for a spot in the six-man squad.
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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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