Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) said he had targeted the World Championships above all else, and now he has rainbow stripes on his jersey he can broaden his horizons.
When asked what race he would most love to win on Eurosport France’s Bistrot Vélo, the world champion said: “Now after winning the World Championships, for sure I’d really like to win the Tour de France.”
“The two races that always made me dream were the World Championships and the Tour de France. Of course, I want to win Monuments and Classics but if I could only pick one, it would be the Tour. “
But Alaphilippe went to great length to say he was just answering the questions and not declaring that he would be targeting the Tour.
“I didn’t say I am going to win it. I just said that if I could only choose one race to win, that would be it,” continued the Frenchman.
With Alaphilippe finishing fifth in the 2019 Tour, after leading for most of the race only to lose out to Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) in the last few days, the media were expecting something similar for 2020.
Alaphilippe did start well, taking stage two and the yellow jersey before losing it through a penalty to Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and eventually finishing 36th in the general classification after multiple breakaway displays.
“The route of the 2021 Tour is nice, and it motivates me,” Alaphilippe added, “with the opening stages that suit me quite well.”
“But for the moment, I’m only thinking about preparing for the start of the season and the Tour always comes a bit afterwards,” he said, as he looks to aim for a return to the Tour of Flanders after a superb display was cut short in 2020 due to him crashing into a motorbike.
Alaphilippe made his first appearances at the cobbled Classics in 2020 with some excellent displays, especially at Flanders and Brabantse Pijl, winning the latter by a hairs width of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix) who timed his sprint poorly.
When asked about whether he and young Belgian team mate, Remco Evenepoel, were in competition in Grand Tours, Alaphilippe was swift to deny it and said: “We’re not in competition. On the contrary, I’m very happy when he wins races and it’s the same for him,
“We’ve already done races where he’s ridden for me or where I’ve given him a hand, and it’s worked very well like that.”