Successfully operated on Monday for a double fracture of his right hand following his fall in the Tour of Flanders, the French rider Julian Alaphilippe has finished with this funny 2020 season. Let us quickly recall that, on Sunday, the world champion has hit a racing motorbike and crashed heavily 35 km from the finish of an event that he was, at that time, able to win.
On his team’s website, Deceuninck-Quick Step, the Frenchman returned at length this Tuesday at midday to the circumstances of this accident. “I was very happy at the idea of finally discovering this legendary race, which I had dreamed of for several years, said the man who wore the yellow jersey on the roads of the Tour de France this summer. I felt good during the two reconnaissance races we did on Thursday and Friday. “
He had started clearly being a candidate for the final victory: “I had a lot of confidence”. “From the first kilometers, I became aware of the nervousness of this race, of the immense fight that it represents to always be well positioned,” he says. But I can’t say I was nervous. Strange as it may sound, I stayed calm and always close to my teammates, who had a deeper understanding of the course. “
“My race ended in a second”
The Frenchman began to show the tip of his nose and his ambitions about fifty kilometers from the finish: “I then gave everything. I felt comfortable on the bergs, had no problem when we approached the first hills of the day. So, on the Koppenberg, I thought to myself that I had to try something. Finally, I found myself in a group of three very strong up front ”.
At the time of his fall, Julian Alaphilippe was in the lead with the Belgian Wout van Aert and the Dutch Mathieu van der Poel, the grandson of Raymond Poulidor and future winner: “Things were going well”. “We were working well together, we had managed to create a big gap on the pursuers and I was on the right track for a top 3 at least, he continues. But, unfortunately, this collision with the motorcycle happened and my race was over in a second. “
“My year has been special”
The fall is violent, painful and instantly scares the world champion: “I had a pain in my shoulder, a pain in my hand. I was in a lot of pain and at first I was really scared that something bad had happened. He comes out with a double fracture of his right hand. “Now I can say that I was a little bit lucky considering everything, although I can’t stop thinking about what it would have been like if my run had continued,” he admits. But, at the end of the day, I was still happy to have had the opportunity to discover the race as a world champion and to be able to show my rainbow jersey as part of a team too. strong. It made me want more. “” I want to honor this beautiful jersey as much as possible, which is why my desire is to return to Flanders, he assures us. The race there made me realize how much I missed the cobblestones. I love them, it’s a whole different kind of racing, wilder, brutal, nervous, tough, really special. It’s pure cycling! “
Julian Alaphilippe will have digested by then this year so strange and rich on a personal and professional level: “My year has been special, he says. Beautiful and bizarre at the same time. I had some really fantastic times, some bad ones, and it was a roller coaster ride of emotions, on and off the bike. At the same time, I’m sure it’s happened to many, because this pandemic year has thrown everyone into the unknown. That’s why the simple return to racing in August, after so many months of forced hiatus, was a bonus. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr