Julian Alpahilippe returns to training, but Tour de France participation still in doubt

Quick-Step say Frenchman's punctured lung is fully healed

Julian Alaphilippe
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Julian Alaphilippe has been able to resume "light training" on rollers, three weeks after his heavy crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider suffered a punctured lung as well as broken ribs and shoulder blade as part of a huge incident in the bunch at the Ardennes Monument.

The world champion has undergone further checkups at a hospital in Belgium, according to his team, which have revealed that the pneumothorax he suffered has now completely healed, allowing him to get back on his saddle.

Writing on social media last week, Alaphilippe said that he was "moving in the right direction".

The Frenchman said: "My recovery is going well and the pain is slowly but surely reducing. My breathing is already a lot better and my health is moving in the right direction.

"I hope that my heavy crash will soon be only a bad memory. I really would like to thank all of you for the many kind messages I received over the last ten days, they really touched me."

While is clearly recovering quickly from the incident, there are doubts about the future makeup of his season, with his participation in the Tour de France still in doubt. Being able to train at all is one step, but he needs to find out out whether he can race as normal, at his high level.

His team said on Thursday: "His condition will continue to be monitored before any further decisions and a program for his return to racing is decided on."

Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere has previously said it is "a race against time" to see if he will recover for the Tour, surely his biggest objective of the year.

Alpahilippe has won six stages at the Tour, including one on the opening day last year, and has been on of the key protagonists at his home race in recent years; his absence would not only be a blow to his team, but to the action.

Quick-Step may have other options, like the man who actually won Liège this year, Remco Evenepoel, but it is unknown whether the young man would be thrown into the Tour for the first time this year.

It is understood that it will be clear this month whether he will be able to race in July, or whether his rehabilitation will have to take longer. 

The team statement concluded: "Everyone at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl would like to thank the team at Herentals for the care shown to Julian."

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