Teams & Riders Julian Alaphilippe Discussion Thread

Page 52 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
I don't think genetics are that easy, anyway... there was a cyclingweekly article, I think, recently, which talked about making the perfect cyclist like that... but from what I know that's nonsense.
However, a child with two ex-pros as parents should get the best support if wanted and often also some motivation when cycling is so important and present in the family...
I remember reading a Paul Kimmage article in which Jonathan Vaughters claimed Dan Martin was a better cyclist than his cousin, because he had inherited the Roche DNA through his mother, while it was impossible for Nicolas to have gotten it straight from his father. But coming from JV, I expect it to be partially true at best.
 
The objectives for the end of the season have been defined and choices must be made in this sense.

I would be very proud to wear the jersey of the French team for the next world championships.
I read that as meaning, that you cannot do the Tour, the Olympics - and then be in top shape for a very hard World Championships in Belgium.

I read it as him prioritising trying for a worlds double - and then going for Il Lombardia.
 
Reactions: BlueRoads
I read that as meaning, that you cannot do the Tour, the Olympics - and then be in top shape for a very hard World Championships in Belgium.

I read it as him prioritising trying for a worlds double - and then going for Il Lombardia.
I guess so, yes. It's a combination of things. He will become a father, that's one thing.

The other thing is simply the calendar + travel. There is still Covid, which will make things a bit more difficult going long distance. TdF ends on 18.7. and the road race will be on the 24th. That's only six days later. So basically it means Tour end, little party and then the next day you will have to travel to Tokyo. Twelve hours flight + seven hours of time difference costs you another day. So not very comfy and definitely a disadvantage against those who will skip the Tour and ride there.

The next thing is the joy of the opening ceremony. It's late on Friday and your big race starts twelve hours later. So you will miss that as well.
 
I guess so, yes. It's a combination of things. He will become a father, that's one thing.

The other thing is simply the calendar + travel. There is still Covid, which will make things a bit more difficult going long distance. TdF ends on 18.7. and the road race will be on the 24th. That's only six days later. So basically it means Tour end, little party and then the next day you will have to travel to Tokyo. Twelve hours flight + seven hours of time difference costs you another day. So not very comfy and definitely a disadvantage against those who will skip the Tour and ride there.

The next thing is the joy of the opening ceremony. It's late on Friday and your big race starts twelve hours later. So you will miss that as well.
There are a lot of Olympic athletes who are participating in sports on Saturday that never go to the opening ceremonies including many of the swimmers who are swimming on Saturday, esp in the morning heats. As the road race is always the morning after the opening ceremonies the riders would never be at the opening ceremonies.
 
I guess so, yes. It's a combination of things. He will become a father, that's one thing.

The other thing is simply the calendar + travel. There is still Covid, which will make things a bit more difficult going long distance. TdF ends on 18.7. and the road race will be on the 24th. That's only six days later. So basically it means Tour end, little party and then the next day you will have to travel to Tokyo. Twelve hours flight + seven hours of time difference costs you another day. So not very comfy and definitely a disadvantage against those who will skip the Tour and ride there.

The next thing is the joy of the opening ceremony. It's late on Friday and your big race starts twelve hours later. So you will miss that as well.
I doubt this is a disadvantage because under the rules for the 2021 Olympics you can only arrive X amount of days before your event - So you won't have riders arriving 2 weeks early.
 
I'm not sure what to expect in the Tour. He went pretty deep in his spring campaign. I
The Tour de Suisse route is pretty brutal, I guess he really only wants to stagehunt and try to get the jersey early at the Tour.
That is my hope for him, actually. I don't want to see him waste energy trying to keep up with Ineos and the Slovenians. An attacking JA is the best JA. I'd be more than happy if he won a stage and animated others.
 
Reactions: Skalman
I love Alaf...but I wonder how often he lies awake at night, knowing in his heart that his most successful days are already in the past. Not because his own skills are on the decline, but because Van der Poel's nuclear explosions, Pidcock's watt/weight ratio, Van Aert's engine and Pogacar's effortless climbing ability are seriously narrowing the number of races where Alaf's skillset make him the favourite. Especially with all those rivals being younger, having a better sprint, and superior bike handling too.

If his results dwindle, he may be forced to give up his privilege of riding on instinct, in order to become a pawn in tactical wolfpack games Lefevere and Steels will play with him, Evenepoel and Asgreen in classics.
 
Reactions: Nick2413 and Ripper
I love Alaf...but I wonder how often he lies awake at night, knowing in his heart that his most successful days are already in the past. Not because his own skills are on the decline, but because Van der Poel's nuclear explosions, Pidcock's watt/weight ratio, Van Aert's engine and Pogacar's effortless climbing ability are seriously narrowing the number of races where Alaf's skillset make him the favourite. Especially with all those rivals being younger, having a better sprint, and superior bike handling too.

If his results dwindle, he may be forced to give up his privilege of riding on instinct, in order to become a pawn in tactical wolfpack games Lefevere and Steels will play with him, Evenepoel and Asgreen in classics.
Like, what?
He's now 29. Of course his best days may be behind him, but that's true for most successful riders. You never know. If that's your mindset just end your career already. The competition is stiff, but it was that way before 2019 for him, so he should be used to it.

I do think though he needs to choose races specifically and peak for them, because he's clearly no Roglic who can just turn up at pretty much every point of the season and win a race, seemingly with ease. He has obvious peaks. And the fact that his skillset is pretty diverse may seduce him to try and do everything - sprint, cobbles, uphill, GC, climbing, time-trialing. Especially now in the rainbow stripes there may be an incentive to show the jersey at all important races.
In my eyes he should concentrate on some skills, but if that's not what he likes to do, well, it's his life.

He has beaten pretty much each of the guys you mentioned during the last year, so even if it's far from a walk in the park for him it's still possible...
He will wake up during quite some nights now, I can promise that, but I doubt it's going to be because of fears about his career.

And he should be fine with the wolfpack approach, to be in a team with Asgreen and Evenepoel will make him just a helper for somebody's elses win in some races and give him a serious advantage in other ones. It's not like he's not used to be part of that team and it's not like he has always been the single protected rider who could do whatever he wanted.

I just think our expectations have risen to crazy heights. He's supposed to win against van der Poel in sprints, to climb with Carapaz, to beat Roglic in FW, to beat everyone at Strade, to attack from far out, to gap everyone on the descents and compete in the Tour GC. Yes, in 2019 he was able to pretty much do all that, but I think 2019 was a transition year, where some old favourites showed clear weaknesses and the new ones weren't fully there yet. So 2019 might, in the end, be the best year of his career. But he's still one of the best riders in the peloton, which in my eyes is his true level, that's one of the best, but not that of an extraterrestrial individual.
 
I'm not talking about our expectations, but about his own.

You speak as if it is an easy thing for a champion to accept a decline in success: 'oh in 2017 he didn't win all that much either, so what's new?'

When we all know that it's a very different feeling, to be the rising sun or the setting sun.

Once you've been covered with laurel leaves by adoring fans, and hailed the greatest, being forced to give up that spot to younger, more successful rivals can be quite a painful experience.

So, I'm wondering how he is coping with it psychologically. So far, he seems to be making a very obvious point that nothing can tarnish his adventurous spirit. He still gives us irrational but enjoyable attacks, and he talks openly about winning the WC in Leuven this year. I wonder if his confidence is as untarnished on the inside.
 
Oct 21, 2020
225
148
730
I'm not talking about our expectations, but about his own.

You speak as if it is an easy thing for a champion to accept a decline in success: 'oh in 2017 he didn't win all that much either, so what's new?'

When we all know that it's a very different feeling, to be the rising sun or the setting sun.

Once you've been covered with laurel leaves by adoring fans, and hailed the greatest, being forced to give up that spot to younger, more successful rivals can be quite a painful experience.

So, I'm wondering how he is coping with it psychologically. So far, he seems to be making a very obvious point that nothing can tarnish his adventurous spirit. He still gives us irrational but enjoyable attacks, and he talks openly about winning the WC in Leuven this year. I wonder if his confidence is as untarnished on the inside.
Yeah, he will obviously give up and retire:eek: , its all over. Of course there will come younger, faster, stronger riders. He isn't the first or last athlete to encounter that. Doesn't mean that he will lay awake pondering that, look at Sagan , he also seems like a carefree guy that takes the opportunities when they present themselves. Alaf has always been an opportunistic rider sometimes it succeed many times it does not, but i don't see him changing, its the way competes. BTW i think its way too early to write his obituary, i think and hope he has at least a couple good years left to excite us and continue to light up races.
 
He's an opportunistic. He's been lucky it's worked out as many times as it has for him. However, that type of rider can be highly inconsistent. Has he already peaked? It's possible. There's also his mentality as he has said he wants to race different races because they are different even though he hasn't won races that should suit him like LBL. To me this doesn't translate into a long career due to his mentality. Part of Valverde's longevity in the sport is a combination of his mentality (happiness to virtually race the same calendar year after year) and his consistency throughout his entire career from start to finish of the season. Alaphilippe can be a very entertaining rider, but that has it's drawbacks in having hot and cold streaks which can wear at a person mentally. Valverde may not be the most entertaining rider, but he's always near the front and has earned him a victory total that in the specialized age has only gone to sprinters. Alaphilippe seems to think he can win a GT GC title, while he really hasn't proven he can win even 1 week GC titles. So I agree he does seem to have expectations that are higher for himself than they likely should be. As for changing the type of rider he is, I don't expect Alaphilippe to do that. I don't think he would be happy doing that. I do think he has a few more years left, but I expect him to retire in his mid 30's.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY