Julian Alaphilippe Discussion Thread

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Re: Julian Alaphilippe

Gigs_98 said:
while valverde's acceleration uphill isn't really as good as his flat sprint
Bernal might disagree as Valverde danced away from him uphill in Catalunya like it wasn't even an effort.

Oh, and the Mur de Huy might disagree as well. ;)
 
As a rider-type, I think Rebellin is a better comparison than Bettini, Valverde or Purito.

They seem to share the same skill set. He is somewhere in-between a punchy climber (Bala, Purito) and pure classics specialist (Bettini).
 
Mar 12, 2018
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Re: Julian Alaphilippe

fauniera said:
Gigs_98 said:
while valverde's acceleration uphill isn't really as good as his flat sprint
Bernal might disagree as Valverde danced away from him uphill in Catalunya like it wasn't even an effort.

Oh, and the Mur de Huy might disagree as well. ;)
Bernal wasn't even acceleration, Bernal was spent trying to follow him.

As for Huy, that's more of a drag than acceleration
 
Re: Julian Alaphilippe

fauniera said:
Gigs_98 said:
while valverde's acceleration uphill isn't really as good as his flat sprint
Bernal might disagree as Valverde danced away from him uphill in Catalunya like it wasn't even an effort.

Oh, and the Mur de Huy might disagree as well. ;)
I think there is a big difference between uphill attacks and uphill sprints. I remember a few years ago some people claimed kittel is a decent climber because of a good performance in hatta dam. Turned out he isn't since the only thing he could do uphill was sprinting. In a sprint you put all that's left in you into the last hundred meters. What I haven't seen valverde doing is attacking like alaphilippe in Bergen or following sagan on the poggio.
Compare yesterday's attack with valverde's attack in gaintza in the 2014 PV (two very comparable climbs). Iirc valverde just gradually rode away from the peloton. He didn't have the punch of yesterday's alaphilippe
 
Re: Julian Alaphilippe

Gigs_98 said:
fauniera said:
Gigs_98 said:
while valverde's acceleration uphill isn't really as good as his flat sprint
Bernal might disagree as Valverde danced away from him uphill in Catalunya like it wasn't even an effort.

Oh, and the Mur de Huy might disagree as well. ;)
I think there is a big difference between uphill attacks and uphill sprints. I remember a few years ago some people claimed kittel is a decent climber because of a good performance in hatta dam. Turned out he isn't since the only thing he could do uphill was sprinting. In a sprint you put all that's left in you into the last hundred meters. What I haven't seen valverde doing is attacking like alaphilippe in Bergen or following sagan on the poggio.
Compare yesterday's attack with valverde's attack in gaintza in the 2014 PV (two very comparable climbs). Iirc valverde just gradually rode away from the peloton. He didn't have the punch of yesterday's alaphilippe
Well I would suggest you to rewatch Liege-Bastogne-Liege editions of 2015 and 2017, particularly last climb to Ans (in the former Alaphilippe was there), and then tell me about the punch that Valverde didn't have. Not to mention his Mur de Huy victories (unofficial World Championships for puncheurs).
 
Re:

Blanco said:
Reminds me a lot of Bettini, he has similar devastating accelerations time and time again. But he needs to mature a lot, he needs to start winning big. He beat Roglic twice, but Rogla is not Valverde or Kwiatkowski. We'll see how he handles them.
Bettini himself agrees: "I'd say he's a lot like me, he's explosive, he jumps a lot and is fast in a sprint."
 
Re: Julian Alaphilippe

Blanco said:
Gigs_98 said:
fauniera said:
Gigs_98 said:
while valverde's acceleration uphill isn't really as good as his flat sprint
Bernal might disagree as Valverde danced away from him uphill in Catalunya like it wasn't even an effort.

Oh, and the Mur de Huy might disagree as well. ;)
I think there is a big difference between uphill attacks and uphill sprints. I remember a few years ago some people claimed kittel is a decent climber because of a good performance in hatta dam. Turned out he isn't since the only thing he could do uphill was sprinting. In a sprint you put all that's left in you into the last hundred meters. What I haven't seen valverde doing is attacking like alaphilippe in Bergen or following sagan on the poggio.
Compare yesterday's attack with valverde's attack in gaintza in the 2014 PV (two very comparable climbs). Iirc valverde just gradually rode away from the peloton. He didn't have the punch of yesterday's alaphilippe
Well I would suggest you to rewatch Liege-Bastogne-Liege editions of 2015 and 2017, particularly last climb to Ans (in the former Alaphilippe was there), and then tell me about the punch that Valverde didn't have. Not to mention his Mur de Huy victories (unofficial World Championships for puncheurs).
Those were uphill sprints by his definition :p
You don't need to go that far back and just look at this year's Abu Dhabi Tour where both Bala and Ala were involved. The last stage to Jebel Hafeet they went head to head. Valverde attacked 3km to go from a group containing Alaphilippe and with a fantastic acceleration closed a 20s gap to Lopez in literally 30s.
Valverde has an extraordinary uphill attack but so does Julian. They are close in that regard IMO. Valverde is still ahead and will be so until Bala junior doesn't beat him in a direct confrontation on the biggest stage. Valverde is miles ahead as a pure climber and stage racer though.
 
Julian doesn't have the climbing ability Valverde has and he goes a lot deeper when he attacks on a climb to try to get a gap and can't hold that acceleration for long enough. When Valverde attacks on a climb he won't go to his limit and always hold something back for an anticipated sprint at the end. Not only does he have a devastating change of pace attack, he can hold that pace to get a good gap when he's actually attacking. As for who has the faster sprint, well so far Valverde is the one winning and the current form he has along with the fact he hasn't peaked and will aiming to peak at the Ardennes I'd still give Valverde the advantage. I do think Alaphilippe will be right there again and in 2nd again.
 
Re:

Velolover2 said:
As a rider-type, I think Rebellin is a better comparison than Bettini, Valverde or Purito.

They seem to share the same skill set. He is somewhere in-between a punchy climber (Bala, Purito) and pure classics specialist (Bettini).
Bettini became a classics specialist later, at his age was a way better climber than him, able to get a top ten in a GT (7th at the 1998 Giro). There is an interview of him for "A tu per tu" series where he said that he decided to focus on classics when he realized that he couldn't win a GT because he was a poor time trialist (at that time there were 100 or more TT kms in a GT) so rather than fighting for a top 5/10 he preferred to put on weight and change his training to focus more on explosiveness and sprinting instead of endurance.

Alaphilippe seems naturally suited to classics and not able to survive longer climbs despite being slim, also Rebellin was a stronger climber than him at his age, it's difficult to find a similar rider maybe Argentin that was strong in classics already in young age and his podium at the Giro was possible only because they cut the mountains to favour Moser that year, in a "normal" GT wouldn't be possible for him, he improved in the mountains only later in his career, something that theoretically could do also Alaphilippe.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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In this shape he might beat Valverde in the Ardennes in the Valverde-way, but I hope Quick Step will create mayhem which they can and it is what Gilbert wants.
 
I hadn't realised that before this week, alaphilippe only had seven pro victories, despite 80+ top 10s. It feels like he wins a lot more. You get the feeling that this year will be the year when he really kicks on, and wins a big race. But, he'll have to shake off bala to win liege. I do think, seeing how he normally races, that he will attack at some point, and not just wait for a sprint
 
Unless he becomes a better climber he's never going to be a true GC rider. He'll look really good and then we are reminded by a stage like this that he's really not a GC rider and not a very good climber.
 
I'd rather see him excel in what he's already good at and not worry about being an amazing mountain goat. He would never be a GT winner or even top 5 in GT's. He should be content with winning classics/monuments and some stage races depending on the routes. He can entertain on certain GT stages...like the Vuelta.
 
Mar 19, 2017
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Re:

Jspear said:
I'd rather see him excel in what he's already good at and not worry about being an amazing mountain goat. He would never be a GT winner or even top 5 in GT's. He should be content with winning classics/monuments and some stage races depending on the routes. He can entertain on certain GT stages...like the Vuelta.
Alaphilippe said in many interviews that he's first and foremost a classic rider. QS lost 2 stage/grand tour GC riders - Daniel Martin and David de la Cruz, so the burden falls on him to ride for GC more. Jungles is the only other GC rider left in the team. I think QS is looking at Devenyns for GC responsibility but he's recovering from an injury.

Reading the press release from QS before this race(#itzulia), I don't think either the team or Alaphilippe were aiming for GC. Brian Holmes "We know from previous years how tough a race it is, and lining up with a very young(4 neo-pros) team this year, we can afford to race it as underdogs. We will take the days as they come..."
 
If he eased on purpose today, then that;s a wise decision before Ardennes treble. He will need to be as fresh as possible to face those monsters, Valverde, Nibali and Kwiatkowski. But if he cracked, that's not a good sign. I guess we'll know better in a week or two.
 
Re:

Blanco said:
If he eased on purpose today, then that;s a wise decision before Ardennes treble. He will need to be as fresh as possible to face those monsters, Valverde, Nibali and Kwiatkowski. But if he cracked, that's not a good sign. I guess we'll know better in a week or two.
I don't think he 'cracked', at the moment his regeneration just isn't very good. He gradually becomes weaker throughout a stage race as seen in Paris-Nice. After the first climbs of the day he probably felt he woudn't go anywhere and decided to back off.
His form seems to be great though, the first two stages were very Ardennes-like (shorter, of course) and he looked very dynamic.
Also, I think there might be a bit of a misconception going on here about him. People argue, that he is a poor climber because he struggled in the latter parts of PN and PV. However, I think what really is the issue is, that he is a classics guy who just doesn't cope very well with the fatigue building up. The longer/harder climbs in those two races have been in the latter parts where he probably was already a bit tired compared to the more Grand Tour experienced riders. (After all, he's only done two GTs so far)
If it comes to a climbing-heavy one day race he can very much excell, as seen in Lombardia last year. Hence, he should also be considered as a favourite for Innsbruck imo.
 
Re: Re:

Sestriere said:
Blanco said:
If he eased on purpose today, then that;s a wise decision before Ardennes treble. He will need to be as fresh as possible to face those monsters, Valverde, Nibali and Kwiatkowski. But if he cracked, that's not a good sign. I guess we'll know better in a week or two.
I don't think he 'cracked', at the moment his regeneration just isn't very good. He gradually becomes weaker throughout a stage race as seen in Paris-Nice. After the first climbs of the day he probably felt he woudn't go anywhere and decided to back off.
His form seems to be great though, the first two stages were very Ardennes-like (shorter, of course) and he looked very dynamic.
Also, I think there might be a bit of a misconception going on here about him. People argue, that he is a poor climber because he struggled in the latter parts of PN and PV. However, I think what really is the issue is, that he is a classics guy who just doesn't cope very well with the fatigue building up. The longer/harder climbs in those two races have been in the latter parts where he probably was already a bit tired compared to the more Grand Tour experienced riders. (After all, he's only done two GTs so far)
If it comes to a climbing-heavy one day race he can very much excell, as seen in Lombardia last year. Hence, he should also be considered as a favourite for Innsbruck imo.
I do agree he and probably Bardet as co leaders for France at this year's World's make sense. They both have done well at Lombardia, although he should be option 1 as he's more of a classics rider.
 
Re: Re:

Sestriere said:
Blanco said:
If he eased on purpose today, then that;s a wise decision before Ardennes treble. He will need to be as fresh as possible to face those monsters, Valverde, Nibali and Kwiatkowski. But if he cracked, that's not a good sign. I guess we'll know better in a week or two.
I don't think he 'cracked', at the moment his regeneration just isn't very good. He gradually becomes weaker throughout a stage race as seen in Paris-Nice. After the first climbs of the day he probably felt he woudn't go anywhere and decided to back off.
His form seems to be great though, the first two stages were very Ardennes-like (shorter, of course) and he looked very dynamic.
Also, I think there might be a bit of a misconception going on here about him. People argue, that he is a poor climber because he struggled in the latter parts of PN and PV. However, I think what really is the issue is, that he is a classics guy who just doesn't cope very well with the fatigue building up. The longer/harder climbs in those two races have been in the latter parts where he probably was already a bit tired compared to the more Grand Tour experienced riders. (After all, he's only done two GTs so far)
If it comes to a climbing-heavy one day race he can very much excell, as seen in Lombardia last year. Hence, he should also be considered as a favourite for Innsbruck imo.
The idea that recovery rather than longer climbing in itself is his main problem is an interesting argument. I’m not sure that it fits entirely with his palmares - he’s never won anything late in a GT, but most of his stage wins have been 4-8 stages in to races which counts as “late” in a week long race.
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Sestriere said:
Blanco said:
If he eased on purpose today, then that;s a wise decision before Ardennes treble. He will need to be as fresh as possible to face those monsters, Valverde, Nibali and Kwiatkowski. But if he cracked, that's not a good sign. I guess we'll know better in a week or two.
I don't think he 'cracked', at the moment his regeneration just isn't very good. He gradually becomes weaker throughout a stage race as seen in Paris-Nice. After the first climbs of the day he probably felt he woudn't go anywhere and decided to back off.
His form seems to be great though, the first two stages were very Ardennes-like (shorter, of course) and he looked very dynamic.
Also, I think there might be a bit of a misconception going on here about him. People argue, that he is a poor climber because he struggled in the latter parts of PN and PV. However, I think what really is the issue is, that he is a classics guy who just doesn't cope very well with the fatigue building up. The longer/harder climbs in those two races have been in the latter parts where he probably was already a bit tired compared to the more Grand Tour experienced riders. (After all, he's only done two GTs so far)
If it comes to a climbing-heavy one day race he can very much excell, as seen in Lombardia last year. Hence, he should also be considered as a favourite for Innsbruck imo.
The idea that recovery rather than longer climbing in itself is his main problem is an interesting argument. I’m not sure that it fits entirely with his palmares - he’s never won anything late in a GT, but most of his stage wins have been 4-8 stages in to races which counts as “late” in a week long race.
I don't think he's had enough wins for the timing of them to be 'statistically significant'. I too think Sestriere's theory is interesting, and makes a lot of sense. For the races where he tries to stay in contention, he's definitely at his best in the beginning. And not every race is like Paris-Nice or Itzulia. His California stage win didn't come after several tough stages in succession. Also in the TdF '16, he had several 'rest days' inbetween the breakaways. Same with the Vuelta last year.

The real explanation for his struggles is probably a mix of bad recovery and lack of staying power on climbs. Wellens seems to have a bit of the same characteristics.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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He says he won't focus on the Ardennes classics for his entire career and also wants to ride the Flemish classics in the future (not Roubaix though, as he thinks he's too light for that).

The Flemish classics continue to attract a better field than the Ardennes classics (not counting AGR). I wonder why the Ardennes classics have fallen into disrepute lately... So many good riders are skipping these races... Why is Roglic not riding them for example? Those races should suit his characteristics rather well as evidenced by his performance in Pais Vasco. Is Bardet even riding them? I noticed he was racing the Tour de Finistère today, that's not a good preperation for the coming classics. Pinot is absent as well...
 
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