Julian Alaphilippe has ‘option’ of Tour de France as recovery continues

The world champion will not rush his return to racing.

by Jonny Long

photography by Getty Images

Julian Alaphilippe should recover from injury in time for the Tour de France but will not jeopardise his rehabilitation in order to take part in the biggest race of the year.

The Frenchman’s condition is good enough for him to have joined up with his Quick-Step AlphaVinyl teammates at a training camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain, and has provided an update on his condition following his horrible crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“The broken bones were still painful,” Alaphilippe said of returning to indoor riding once his collapsed lung had completely recovered. “Which is completely normal as these injuries take more time to recover, but I was advised that I was ok to start training.”

Following a few days on the rollers, he could take the next step of riding outside once again.

“After a few days, I did not have any unexpected bad feelings [on the road], and it was decided that I should join the team in Sierra Nevada, where they have a training camp, and where I could try and find my normal rhythm,” Alaphilippe explained.

“Of course, I can’t yet be doing the same work as all of the guys here, as I need some time to train to take back my shape and I still have to be careful to not push my injuries so hard. I am super happy to be with the guys though, as we have a great atmosphere and perfect conditions in which to train.”

The Tour de France is always a focal point of Alaphilippe’s season, the world champion’s talent a magnet for stage wins and the yellow jersey.

However, while it appears his timeline is progressing in line with making it to the Grand Départ in Copenhagen, nothing will be taken for granted and the French Grand Tour merely remains an”option” for the time being.

“Every day I am improving, and I hope to continue like this – my injuries just need time, so there is no need to have any intervention or surgery, which is why I am able to ride again and it was decided with the team that I am ok to come out here and join the camp,” Alaphilippe said.

“I am trying to be an optimist, but I know I need to take my time and to see how the training is going. If everything continues as it is, then the option of the Tour de France is still open, which is still in my mind, but it is really important that we do not rush anything and we continue to be patient, keep talking with the medical team and take their advice before we decide when I can race again.”

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