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Caruut

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The future for Julian Alaphilippe
« on: July 26, 2019, 22:22 »
After a magical 2 weeks, it looks like Alaphilippe's surprise quest for #yellow will ultimately fall short. If he'd taken it to Paris, he'd have been the first rider to win the Tour and Milano-Sanremo in the same year since Eddy Merckx in 1972. It's hard to consider his Tour anything but a success though, as he captured the hearts of France with two stages, including a TT win that nobody saw coming, and a lengthy spell in yellow remeniscent of Thomas Voeckler's 2011 run.

Where Alaphilippe sits apart from Voeckler, in my mind, is that this win has to fundamentally alter the way we view him as a rider. Unlike Voeckler, he never had a large chunk from a breakaway, but took his time in trademarks surges to the line, and the aforementioned TT. He can, without a doubt, compete for top-10s and podiums in future GTs. But what does the future hold for him?

Can he mount a serious tilt for the top step?

Will he have to move to a team more suited to supporting him in this? Will QuickStep add riders to help him or stick to what they know and love?

What effect will it have on his ability in the classics?

Is TTing ability going to become a consistent part of his arsenal as a rider?
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  • M Gee

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    • The user formerly known as hiero
    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #1 on: July 26, 2019, 23:39 »
    It was the 2004 Tour where Voeckler won his French national heroship. In 2011 he actually did better, but it is still the images from 2004 that remain in my memory. I think it was that 2004 Tour that most resembles Alaphillipe's, because both were completely unexpected, and it was a daily theme "When will he lose the #yellow?"

    Good questions, though. He hasn't WANTED to compete for #yellow before. But now? We can only wait and find out.
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    AG

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #2 on: July 27, 2019, 01:09 »
    He most definitely has the attributes and talent to be a significant GC contender.  He could win the Tour if he tried.

    BUT - to do that, he would have to give up his classics ambitions.  He would have to lose weight, do altitude and mountain training, do endurance training etc - which would mean he would lose some of his punch and power that allows him to win classics.

    So whether he will be willing to do that or not is the question
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  • Blackbandit222

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #3 on: July 27, 2019, 13:45 »
    After initially calling him a doper after seeing the TT live,  I went back over his TT results on PCS.  His results the last 2 years have been consistently high including some nice wins.  Over his career he has definitely improved and shown well in Prologues as well.  He obviously has had the defining GT TT result until now.

    I don’t know if we can call him a TT specialist but he’s definitely underrated at the discipline.
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #4 on: July 27, 2019, 16:42 »
    Go for #rainbow in Yorkshire, then another classics campaign (including the Ronde?) in 2020, and stage-hunting at the Tour.

    I don't see why he should risk what he has now - being one of the best one-day riders of the world - just to maybe, possibly have a shot at winning a Tour (but probably not).
    This was more likely to be a one-off, carried by wearing #yellow for so long.
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    M Gee

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    • The user formerly known as hiero
    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #5 on: July 27, 2019, 19:44 »
    Go for #rainbow in Yorkshire, then another classics campaign (including the Ronde?) in 2020, and stage-hunting at the Tour.

    I don't see why he should risk what he has now - being one of the best one-day riders of the world - just to maybe, possibly have a shot at winning a Tour (but probably not).
    This was more likely to be a one-off, carried by wearing #yellow for so long.
    To be honest, I agree. I think this is the most likely future.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #6 on: July 27, 2019, 20:29 »
    https://cyclingpro.net/spaziociclismo/tour-2019/tour-de-france-2019-julian-alaphilippe-non-ha-rimpianti-questo-tour-cambiera-la-mia-carriera/

    Quote
    The 27-year-old, who won the polka dot jersey last year, concluded by revealing that this edition of the Tour could represent a turning point in his career: "I got a lot more than I had imagined. If they had told me before leaving, I would never have believed it. I'm tired, but happy with what I've done, with what the team has done. We didn't have the best team to win the Tour, but we experienced some exceptional moments, which I think will change my career a lot . They are moments of sport, of life, which we must take advantage of ”.
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  • M Gee

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    • The user formerly known as hiero
    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #7 on: July 27, 2019, 22:01 »
    https://cyclingpro.net/spaziociclismo/tour-2019/tour-de-france-2019-julian-alaphilippe-non-ha-rimpianti-questo-tour-cambiera-la-mia-carriera/

    Interesting stuff, thanks. I'll bet LeFevre is thinking what a good deal he got, re-signing Alaphillipe earlier this year! Talk about return on investment!

    Could get even more expensive soon.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #8 on: July 27, 2019, 22:12 »
    Go for #rainbow in Yorkshire, then another classics campaign (including the Ronde?) in 2020, and stage-hunting at the Tour.

    I don't see why he should risk what he has now - being one of the best one-day riders of the world - just to maybe, possibly have a shot at winning a Tour (but probably not).
    This was more likely to be a one-off, carried by wearing #yellow for so long.

    I much agree, don't make a boring 3-weeks racer out of one of the most intersting 1 day racers to follow. Alaphilippe is a man for the mountainous and hilly one-day races, so I would make his objective list include
    • Yorksire World Championship This race is for Sagan/Kristoff/Trentin rematch only! :angel
    • La Lombardia
    • Ronde van Vlaanderen
    • Itzulia
    • Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    • Tokyo Olympics
    • any stage with a lot of up and down

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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #9 on: July 28, 2019, 01:26 »
    • Yorksire World Championship This race is for Sagan/Kristoff/Trentin rematch only! :angel

     :shh

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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #10 on: July 28, 2019, 01:39 »
    Can he mount a serious tilt for the top step?

    Personally, I don't think so.

    This year presented him the perfect storm of opportunity:

     - A course that suited him as much as any GT might suit him.
     - The absence of key rivals.
     - The tactical advantage of not being considered a GC threat from Day One.
     - Carrying with him exceptional form from an already exceptional season. 

    I just can't imagine the stars aligning for him in such a manner again. In the future, he'll be watched more closely, and if he were to arrive at Le Tour with a true GC support team, then he'd be given far less leeway than he may have experienced this year.

    I just think there's too much rising talent in the natural Grand Tour GC pool for Alaphilippe to be able to make the transition outside of his own comfort zone.

    It was fun while it lasted, but if this year's TdF had played out as originally planned, he very well might've been bounced from the Top Ten by now.
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  • Joelsim

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #11 on: July 28, 2019, 11:14 »
    There’s no reason why he couldn’t win Paris-Nice, TDU, Poland etc but I think the opposition are too good and the climbs too long in a Grand Tour.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #12 on: July 28, 2019, 15:44 »
    There’s no reason why he couldn’t win Paris-Nice, TDU, Poland etc but I think the opposition are too good and the climbs too long in a Grand Tour.
    I think that every contender for hilly classics can win a one-week stage race if they really apply themselves. In GTs, they can enter the top-20 if they go for it.

    Paolo Bettini finished 19th overall in his last Giro (2008), and was regularly in the top-50 or top-60 of GTs while chasing other goals (points jersey, stage wins etc.)

    Exceptional circumstances at this year's Tour enabled Alaphilippe to snatch a top-5 (also helped by the part-cancellation of the last two Alpine stages). It is extremely unlikely that his stars will align in the same way again ... unless ASO suddenly come up with a Tour route that includes lots and lots of rolling stages, short uphill finishes, Pyrénées stages that all end in >20-km downhills, and Alpine stages that all take place in the Provence. :shh
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  • t-72

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #13 on: July 29, 2019, 00:03 »
    I think that every contender for hilly classics can win a one-week stage race if they really apply themselves. In GTs, they can enter the top-20 if they go for it.
    ....
    Exceptional circumstances at this year's Tour enabled Alaphilippe to snatch a top-5 (also helped by the part-cancellation of the last two Alpine stages). It is extremely unlikely that his stars will align in the same way again ... unless ASO suddenly come up with a Tour route that includes lots and lots of rolling stages, short uphill finishes, Pyrénées stages that all end in >20-km downhills, and Alpine stages that all take place in the Provence. :shh

    Alaphilippe has made serious efforts at winning the Paris-Nice: those "Alpine" stages in the Provence,  that you think he can do are precisely why he doesn't win the Paris-Nice, but Bernal did :) He just couldn't keep the pressure up after a few good stages. The Paris-Nice in my opinion, is the best stage race in the last few years, and it was also where Bernal showed his class. In 2025 I will not remember the truncated Alpine finale of the TdF as something special in Bernal's career, it was when winning the Paris-Nice he developed into a captain, and the moment that defines it is when he was riding with Rowe across the windswept plains, leaving the other GC contenders behind.

    Oh, back to Alaphilippe - that grand tour with all the hilly stages and not too much high altitude already exists and it is run in Spain each August. By now, I think the ASO would welcome a French winner so much there is little doubt that they can roll out a course as tailormade for Alaphilippe as the 2012 course was for Wiggins.

    However, he rides for #quickstep Deceunock-Quickstep does anyone consider Quickstep a serious GC team?  To me it seems like stage wins and classics is what they care about, and their classics riders take so much of their bidget it is very unlikely there's enough money left for climbing domestiques to rival #ineos #movistar #astana #jumbo. If they get good enough they will transfer out to one of the more GC oriented teams.  Alaphilippe just re-signed (is re-upped the term at velorooms?) and he is going to ride for #quickstep for another 2 years - I think that means he doesn't even see himself as a future GC guy.


     
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  • M Gee

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    Re: The future for Julian Alaphilippe
    « Reply #14 on: July 29, 2019, 00:39 »
    . . . The Paris-Nice in my opinion, is the best stage race in the last few years, and it was also where Bernal showed his class. . . .
    However, he rides for #quickstep Deceunock-Quickstep does anyone consider Quickstep a serious GC team?  To me it seems like stage wins and classics is what they care about, . . .and he is going to ride for #quickstep for another 2 years - I think that means he doesn't even see himself as a future GC guy.

     
    To be fair, Alaphilippe re-upped BEFORE the TdF. As he has said a few times now, it was a life-changing opportunity. It is difficult to determine exactly what he meant - but we will certainly find out in the course of time.

    As for Paris-Nice - I did not pay attention this year. I shall have to go back and watch it. At the moment I am not a Bernal fan, and I think I am unlikely to grow into one. So, I guess I will be resigning myself to not seeing one of my favs win the TdF in the foreseeable future. I will be cheering them on, tho.
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