'I always want more': Julian Alaphilippe coy on defence of yellow jersey

After last year, the Frenchman will not be allowed, by rivals or the media, to surreptitiously wander into yellow jersey contention

Julian Alaphilippe on stage three of the 2020 Tour de France (Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

"You said you wouldn't race for the overall but I'm looking at the roadbook and I don't see where it will be too difficult for you? Does this mean you will be in yellow until the Alps?"

"I recce'd the Alpine stages and it will be really difficult, tomorrow I do my best to defend the yellow jersey. I'm proud to wear it, it’s a huge happiness that I feel, so I will give it my all to keep it. If I keep it, it will be another bonus. Every day is just a bonus."

If Julian Alaphilippe loses the yellow jersey on tomorrow's stage four summit finish, the press room is going to need to come up with entirely new questions. If not, they'll keep asking him how long he'll keep the yellow jersey every day until he no longer owns it. But how many "bonus" days count as such, until once again he becomes a serious GC contender.

The category one ascent to Orcières-Merlette is 7.1km long at 6.7 per cent will be the first test on his GC lead, and this year he currently only has a four-second advantage over Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) to protect.

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"I've only heard it’s a difficult stage but I haven't studied the race profile yet, but again we will control the race and the legs will do the talking," Alaphilippe, already asking on day three for an acquiescence from the media, admitting he is feeling the pressure more this year.

"The feeling is different, really different from last year," the Frenchman said. "The feeling to get the yellow jersey this time was a relief, I feel much more relaxed after I won yesterday. I was missing a win and I did it in style.

"Tomorrow will be a difficult stage and just thinking I have to fight gives me a lot of motivation."

"Are you satisfied with what you have so far or do you want more?" comes the final question.

"I always want more," replies Alaphilippe.

Jonny Long

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. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


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.