21 things you didn't know about Julian Alaphilippe

From his cyclo-cross beginnings to his favourite film genre

Julian Alaphilippe celebrating in the rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Getty )
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Date of birth11/06/1992Row 0 - Cell 2
Place of birthSaint-Amand-Montrond, FranceRow 1 - Cell 2
NationalityFrenchRow 2 - Cell 2
Nickname(s)Loulou, AlafpolakRow 3 - Cell 2
Height1.73m / 5ft 8inRow 4 - Cell 2
Weight62kgRow 5 - Cell 2
ResidesAndorraRow 6 - Cell 2
PartnerMarion RousseRow 7 - Cell 2
Turned pro2013Row 8 - Cell 2
TeamSoudal Quick-StepRow 9 - Cell 2
BikeSpecialized S-Works Tarmac SL7Row 10 - Cell 2
CoachFranck AlaphilippeRow 11 - Cell 2
Twitter@alafpolak1Row 12 - Cell 2
Instagram@alafpolakRow 13 - Cell 2

A two-time road world champion, Julian Alaphilippe is one of the most decorated cyclists of his generation. He has won Classics in Strade Bianche and La Flèche Wallonne, a Monument in Milan-San Remo and multiple stages of the Tour de France.

Here are 21 things you probably didn't know about the swashbuckling Frenchman. 

Julian Alaphilippe in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty)

1. He is the only Frenchman to win two world road race titles, having claimed back-to-back rainbow jerseys in 2020 and 2021.

2. His father Jacques, known as Jo, was a musician and orchestra conductor. He died in June 2019, after a lengthy battle with illness.

3. By virtue of his musical upbringing, Alaphilippe is a talented drummer.

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4. He has an eclectic music taste, and lists AC/DC, The Police and Sting among his favourite artists.

5. His younger brother, Bryan, was also a professional cyclist. He rode in the French Continental ranks for the Equipe Cycliste Armée de Terre and St Michel - Auber93, before retiring in March 2021, aged 25.

6. Alaphilippe began his career racing cyclo-cross and finished second at the Junior World Championships in 2010. He went on to win the French National Championships twice at under-23 level.

7. The Frenchman’s coach is his cousin, Franck, who serves as a trainer at Soudal Quick-Step. He has worked with Julian since the two-time world champion’s beginnings in the sport.

8. His partner is Marion Rousse, a former pro turned journalist, and now race director of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

9. Alaphilippe and Rousse have a son, Nino, who was born just 12 days before the 2021 Tour de France, where his father won the opening stage.

10. He has his own clothing range, aptly named ‘The Julian Alaphilippe Collection’, which offers branded attire in men’s, women’s and children’s ranges. 

11. His social media accounts are registered under the moniker ‘Alafpolak’, a nickname of his. Speaking to L'Équipe in 2018, he said the nickname doesn’t come from anywhere and is nothing more than nonsense. 

12. French cycling fans call him ‘Loulou’, a familiar form of his first name, Julian. 

13. He wore the yellow jersey for 14 days at the 2019 Tour de France, where he won stages three and 13, the latter a rare individual time trial victory. 

14. He won the King of the Mountains classification at the 2018 Tour de France, joining 22 other Frenchmen in achieving the feat, including Richard Virenque, Laurent Jalabert and Romain Bardet. 

15. He dressed up as Robin Hood at the Tour of Britain in 2018, donning a feathered green hat at stage seven’s start in Nottinghamshire. He went on to win the overall classification at the race. 

16. Though he has never won Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he has a special relationship with the Momument, and has started it more times than any other race (eight times, as of 2023).  

17. In 2020, he celebrated prematurely at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and was pipped on the line by Primož Roglič. He ended up placing fifth, after being relegated for cutting across a rider in the sprint finish. 

18. He was hospitalised after hitting a tree at high speed during the 2022 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It was later revealed that he suffered two broken ribs, a fractured shoulder blade and a collapsed lung, which left him sidelined for two months. 

19. Alaphilippe’s most successful seasons came in 2018 and 2019, in both of which he claimed 12 race victories. 

20. He has never ridden the Giro d’Italia, typically choosing instead to take a break in May before building up to his home Grand Tour, the Tour de France.

21. His favourite movie genre is comedy, and he enjoys reading biographies. “It [the book] doesn’t need to be focused on an athlete or on a person who had a major role in history,” he said in an interview on Quick-Step’s website, “as long as it’s a good and insightful one.” 

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.