Julian Alaphilippe wins Tour of Britain
Two years after conquering the Tour of California, the Frenchman finished again at the top of a stage race.
Quick-Step Floors' 61st victory of the year – an astounding tally which our team has reached also at the end of the 2014 season – came in the form of Julian Alaphilippe's overall triumph at the Tour of Britain, where the charismatic pocket-rocket climber made his first appearance this year after coming out of a five-week break he took following his Clasica San Sebastian win.
"It's always a nice feeling to win a race, especially the overall. This season has been fantastic so far and I'm happy to add one more success to my palmares, a victory which wouldn't have been possible without my teammates' fantastic support. I am proud of them and I want to say a big thank you for their help and the way they protected me throughout the week", said Julian after the second GC win of his career.
In 2016, Alaphilippe became the first Frenchman to conquer the Tour of California, a success he built after a win atop Gibraltar Road backed by a solid display in the individual time trial. This time, he again claimed a stage win (in Bristol) before a strong team time trial of Quick-Step Floors, a performance that moved the 26-year-old within seconds off the lead, which he eventually took on the back of a solid ride on the tough Whinlatter Pass.
London, which once again hosted the final stage of the Tour of Britain, was more or less a parade for the emerald jersey wearer, who at the end of the day – which saw Fernando Gaviria deliver the team's 123rd top 3 finish of 2018 – took the podium to savour his success and receive a huge round of raucous cheers from the public.
"To be quite sincere, I was surprised by my shape, because after the Tour de France I rode only San Sebastian and a couple of criteriums, so to see that I have such a good condition gives me a big boost of confidence for the remaining of the season and the next important races on my calendar: Tour de Slovaquie, the World Championships and Il Lombardia", concluded Julian, who was joined in the Tour of Britan top 10 overall by teammate Bob Jungels, fifth at the end of a week in which the Luxembourger rode in support of Alaphilippe.
Photo credit: ©Justin Setterfield/ Getty Images