Pre-race favourite Julian Alaphilippe has been forced to abandon Liège-Bastogne-Liège after being caught up in a huge crash. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s world champion was brought down in an incident that occurred on the descent from the Col du Rosier, coming with just under 60km of the Monument remaining.
The Frenchman was seen lying in the trees at the side of the road, with compatriot Romain Bardet, of rival team DSM climbing down to help.
There is little information available about Alaphilippe’s condition, the team tweeting only that he had abandoned the 257 km Monument.
However, French television, one of whose commentators is Marion Rousse, Alaphilippe’s partner, reported he was in an ambulance, but conscious and complaining of back pain.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl had been ever-present near the front of the bunch, sitting just behind Bahrain Victorious, who have done much of the controlling throughout the race.
Alaphilippe himself has a great record in La Doyenne, finishing a close second to Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) last year, and overtaken on the line by Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) while celebrating what he thought was victory the year before.
With no big classic wins so far this year the 2022 spring has been a torrid time for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and the team would have been hoping the swashbuckling Frenchman could have turned the opening part of their season around.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl later released a statement on Alaphilippe's condition:
"World champion Julian Alaphilippe suffered two broken ribs, a broken scapula and a hemo pneumothorax. His condition is stable, but will need to be hospitalised for observation."
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