By Jonny Long
Julian Alaphilippe has said he won't target the yellow jersey at the 2020 Tour de France, having spent the day in Paris watching the unveiling of the 2020 route.
"I won’t go for the general classification, as next season I will have other goals," the Frenchman said, with next year's Tour offering up eight mountain stages with four summit finishes, as well as a time trial on the penultimate day up to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Alaphilippe spent 14 days in yellow during the 2019 race, having taking the overall lead with his stage three victory in Épernay. He then briefly leant it to Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) before taking it back until stage 19 when the race was cancelled mid-way through due to landslides, handing it on to eventual winner Egan Bernal (Ineos).
“I will study the parcours in detail together with the team, but what I can already say is that it’s one of the toughest editions in recent years," Alaphilippe said, echoing a sentiment shared by four-time champion Chris Froome (Ineos).
Instead of targeting the GC, it's likely Alaphilippe will target stage victories, of which he has already taken four throughout his career. The 27-year-old says he has already pinpointed a couple he may target as he looks to add to his tally. "On paper, there are a couple of stages that suit me, but I will know more once I do the recon," Alaphilippe said.
"What I can tell you for now is that I won’t go for the general classification, as next season I will have other goals," the Frenchman added, hinting at another spirited Classics campaign, having won Strade Bianche, Milan - San Remo and Flèche Wallonne this year. Or, he could look towards a potential tilt at the Tokyo Olympics, which the Tour has been moved forward a week for.
Alaphilippe could also target the polka dot jersey once more at next year's Tour, having won the king of the mountains classification in 2018 with a swashbuckling display that also saw him claim two stage wins.
Alaphilippe believes the 2020 course will be one that excites fans, with the 2019 edition being heralded as the most compelling in recent years, the Frenchman having played a large part in its animation.
"Overall, its a parcours that I like, with many new climbs, which will make the race more interesting and spectacular," Alaphilippe said, "but at the same time, harder, and I can’t wait to be at the start in Nice."
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.
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