Alaphilippe and Voeckler explain how it all proceeded right for the French team
Julian Alaphilippe successfully defended his world-wide title at the end of a gruelling 268.3 km race from Antwerp to Leuven. The dominate world-wide champ started solo on the St Antoniusberg climb 17.4 km from the finish, but his French team first threw their aggressive design into action over 150 km earlier.
“I made everything, but I also have to look at the team, ” Alaphilippe said after the finish. “Valentin Madouas and[ Florian] Senechal steered me excellently in the final. It was very difficult but in the end a real dream. The legs were good, I worked hard towards this. This was not planned. I have not yet been words for this, I’m just happy.”
It’s a year since Alaphilippe won the 2020 World Championship road race in Imola, taking the title in similar solo manner. He’s worn the rainbow jersey to four large-hearted success since then, the last on stage 1 of the Tour de France where he also spanned the line alone after a late all-out attack.
“I know what it’s like to ride in this jersey so that was definitely an extra motivation for me today, ” Alaphilippe said. “It was terrible to have to go 18 km from the finish, but I knew what I had to do and simply deterred on presenting everything.”
The moment Julian Alaphilippe property the fatal blow.
The 29 -year-old became a father just before the Tour de France, and the thought of his son Nino spurred him on during the course of its final deplete circuit in Leuven. He likewise described motive of another kind from the Belgian fans.
“I thought of my little one on the final, ” Alaphilippe said. “There were many advocates for Belgium and they asked me to slow down. They weren’t sympathetic words but it gave me more motivation.”
It seemed like the French crew, be determined by former pro Thomas Voeckler, implemented a perfect race design, going on the offensive from a long way out while others opted for a defensive strategy. Nonetheless, a few moments during Alaphilippe’s post-race interview indicated that his final attack wasn’t in the script.
As Voeckler interrupted the interview to congratulate his boy, the freshly-crowned world champion uttered, “We didn’t stick to the plan but it worked anyway.”
— Le Gruppetto (@ LeGruppetto) September 26, 2021
Thomas Voeckler was France’s biggest cheerleader at the race, assured fostering his riders from the team car and later from the top of the Moskesstraat, simply 10 km before Alaphilippe’s first big-hearted move. After masterminding Alaphilippe’s second consecutive World Championship victory, the veteran cyclist joked that his years helming the national time might be numbered.
“I am 42 years old, I told my chairwoman that I was going to stop because the people are going to kill me, ” Voeckler said. “I want to live a little longer. Julian raced the opposite of what I told him, he scared the shit out of me the moronic. Arnaud Demare dislocated my shoulder.”
Thomas Voeckler celebrates with the French national crew after the finish.
Voeckler spoke more seriously about the race to French media later on Sunday afternoon, starting by praising the efforts of the whole team.
“The state of mind of the group, the behaviour of each one…It’s indescribable! ”
He went on to explain their strategy for the race.
“The educations were to start the race before everyone expected it, so we were a little bit crazy, ” Voeckler explained. “It happened how we thought it was going to happen, with a race of strikes to keep it from getting too crowded on the circuit at the end of the race. We wanted to start the attacks before everybody else. And to be honest, this attacking race, we meant to start it even earlier but Remi Cavagna punctured. We always wanted to be one step ahead, with Benoit Cosnefroy or Arnaud Demare, to have a fast rider in front and make peril. And we wanted to keep Julian and’ Senech’[ Florian Senechal] for the end.”
The French national tutor also confirmed that Alaphilippe’s winning move wasn’t in the plan.
“What was not planned, however, was for him to do 17 km solo! ” Voeckler said. “Julian asked me if he should produce out the sprint for Florian Senechal but I told him no, and that’ Senech’ would oversee. The last time I spoke to Julian, I told him to follow the attacks and counter. Then I told him to finish on instinct. But in the end, he didn’t follow this instruction, he assaulted himself.”
France’s biggest challenger for the name was the Belgium team, who were expected to dominate on dwelling roads with Wout van Aert as their figurehead. They raced as you would expect- the rainbow jersey was theirs to lose. But while the Belgians raced defensively for the most part, France took wholly the opposite approach, and perhaps most importantly, they didn’t give too much attention to the home favourites.
“Belgium was an adversary like the others and the biggest mistake we could have constructed would have been to mount an anti-Van Aert or anti-Belgium plan, ” Voeckler explained. “And there are undoubtedly many who did. And I didn’t want that, it was out of the question! ”
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