Of all the victories that already inhabit the legs of Julian Alaphilippe it is difficult to point out one as the most spectacular, most splendid and grandiose. The cyclist of the vibrant spark, the unleashed heart and the incandescent flame. Perhaps the Strade Bianche last March, when he dominated the land of Tuscan to his liking and entered the Piazza del Campo in Siena as a runaway horse winner of the «Palio». No, maybe it would be better for Milan-San Remo, ten days later after attacking in Poggio, being hunted and still have strength to win the sprint. Or the Walloon Arrow where he told Valverde that his time of absolute reign is over. Or the Classic of San Sebastian last year. There are so many. And the ones that remain.
The future of Alaphilippe speaks of afternoons of glory, of victories that leave breathless for thrilling and beautiful. That is why, perhaps, that yesterday falls directly into the first place in your particular ranking in terms of exhibitions. Because when a race in which the Frenchman has a race number and the final race is upwards, it is inevitable that he will not be a favorite. But this time, he broke his own schemes and gave a feat to not forget. Instead of waiting for the explosive finale of Epernay, land of vineyards and champagne, Alaphilippe decided he wanted to take a treat. Fly on your own. On the penultimate level of the stage, that of Muntigny, 15 kilometers from the end, «Loulou», as they call him, decided to become a rocket and jump off a platoon that already smelled the agonizing flesh of the escaped. Tim Wellens, Stéphane Rossetto, Paul Ourselin, Yoann Offredo and Anthony Delaplace walked out together until, in the absence of 50 kilometers, the brave and huge Lotto-Soudal cyclist wanted to make war on his own. He reached the level of Muntigny. There he died, run over by the Alaphilippe bolide and sunk by a mechanical breakdown at the very top. No one behind did not even make the mistake of following the dazzling and devastating French attack. For what. It was impossible.
The Astana, with Omar Fraile, took control of the chase, but the advantage of "Loulou" and the pedal stroke he was carrying were already insurmountable. A group was launched on the hunt where Landa was introduced, but from behind, the Ineos gave chase. It was one thing to leave Alaphilippe and another to give certain weight names like Alava a slight advantage. Do not. To the goal, «Loulou» arrived just to uncork the Epernay champagne. He was expecting a double prize: stage for his recital and the first yellow you saw in his sports career. Behind, in the sprint of the best, Egan Bernal managed to take 5 seconds to all his rivals except Pinot. Also to his partner and theoretical leader, Geraint Thomas. Of the Colombian, also the near future speaks of exhibitions like the one of yesterday of Alaphilippe, the boy who grew up watching his father being a director of music bands. Now the orchestra touches it. And it is a masterpiece.
. (tagsToTranslate) tour de france