Julian Alaphilippe won the second stage of the Tour de France 2020 - Stéphane Mahé / AP / SIPA

  • Julian Alaphilippe will probably not win the Tour de France. But the puncher from Deceuninck-Quick Step, stage winner this Sunday in Nice, could once again afford a yellow epic.
  • The relatively affordable course for the next week could allow him to arrive in the Pyrenees with the leader's jersey in the general classification.
  • "The yellow jersey will be a bonus every day, we will continue to hunt for stages," he said.

From our special correspondent in Nice,

Julian Alaphilippe hadn't perspired enough. The heroic puncher's body still had a few milliliters of water to lose, despite the five hours of effort in the dodger. He collapsed in tears after his victory in the second stage of the Tour de France, this Sunday in Nice.

A staff member of his team, Deceuninck-Quick Step, was there to take off his helmet, his glasses, give him a mask and say a word of comfort to him. But Julian Alaphilippe took several minutes to come to his senses. Passing the line, he had stretched a finger skyward, before punching his handlebars furiously. A tribute to his father, Jo, who died last June.

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Tears, smiles, masks, full of colors but above all yellow ... It was the second stage of # TDF2020, won by Julian Alaphilippe, overwhelmed by emotion. He dedicated this victory and this yellow jersey to his father Jo, who died in June. #tourdefrance #julianalaphilippe @bobjungels #coronavirus # covid19 #maillotjaune #cycling #cycling #nice #igersfrance #igersnice

A post shared by Jean Saint-Marc (@jeansaintmarc) on Aug 30, 2020 at 10:56 am PDT

"It's a special year: I haven't won a race since the start of the season, I worked hard despite some difficult times," he confided, his throat tight with tears: "I want to dedicate this victory to my dad. "

This is the fifth time that Julian Alaphilippe has raised his arms on the Tour de France. And, above all, he will wear this Monday the yellow jersey that suited him so well last summer. He had kept it for fourteen days. Is he able to repeat this feat? “The yellow jersey will be a bonus every day,” he replied, cautiously. We will continue to hunt for stages. We didn't come here to win the Tour. "

A "very strong" team and a favorable course

Bob Jungels, who prepared the ground for Julian Alaphilippe with a masterful acceleration, all the same recalled that the Deceuninck-Quick Step had the means to defend the yellow jacket. “We have a very strong team, everyone is in good shape, we saw it on this stage,” he says with a satisfied smile.

💪 A breakaway that opened the way for a long time before the final battle, and the victory of 🇫🇷 @ alafpolak1 who finds his costume of light. 💛

🎬 Step 2 of # TDF2020 summarized in 1 ', it's here! #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/DkMPN392U5

- Tour de France ™ (@LeTour) August 30, 2020

The route of this atypical edition offers the first arrival at altitude on Tuesday, with an arrival in Orcières-Merlette, at 1,825 meters above sea level. A first-class pass, but nothing insurmountable for Julian Alaphilippe (7.1 kilometers at 6.7% average).

Orcières on Tuesday, Mont Augoual on Thursday should not pose any problems for Alaphilippe.

First alert on Saturday. If he keeps the jersey, then he must be able to keep it until the following Sunday. The Grand Colombier stage, on the other hand, seems impossible to me

- Fabrice 🚴 (@FDDM_OVO) August 30, 2020

"I think he is able to keep the jersey on that day, it's a collar for him," said former cyclist Danny Nelissen, consultant on the Dutch channel Nos. For him, Julian Alaphilippe can even keep his yellow jersey until the arrival of the peloton in the Pyrenees, next weekend. "It also suits Jumbo-Visma and Ineos who do not have to tire themselves while driving at the front of the peloton," recalls the former amateur world champion. His team is solid and Julian seems to be in an ascending form, as we saw on Milan San Remo (2nd). "

The Frenchman should be wary of Primoz Roglic, who, like all the favorites, is only 17 seconds behind. The former ski jumper showed at the Dauphiné that he was very good at the bonus game. But Julian Alaphilippe also knows how to jump on opportunities.


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