Tour de France 2019: Julian Alaphilippe learning on the job as he defends lead

first_imgHaving never seriously contended for a Grand Tour GC title, the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider is working hard to ensure his tactics are right going forward as the race heads to its conclusion Sunday.”I don’t know if it’s realistic [to win the GC] because I don’t ask myself that question,” he told a news conference. “I just continue to do like I did the last two weeks, take it day after day and enjoy it. Related News Tour de France 2019: Simon Yates climbs to second stage win, Geraint Thomas reduces Julian Alaphilippe’s lead Julian Alaphilippe acknowledges he has altered his approach to “ride like the leader” at the Tour de France as he adjusts to defending the yellow jersey.Home hopeful Alaphilippe leads the General Classification heading into the final week, but his lead over defending champion Geraint Thomas was cut to a minute and 35 seconds as he was dropped late Sunday. “It’s a really big honor to be in yellow during the Tour. We changed the plan and [try to] defend it. I give everything every day, as you see, and I don’t go in a breakaway now. I ride like the leader of the Tour de France.Prêt pour tout donner dans les Alpes ! Merci les copains pour aujourd’hui et encore à vous tous pour le soutien.. @deceuninck_qst @LeTour @getty pic.twitter.com/qEJNZRntrn— Julian Alaphilippe Officiel (@alafpolak1) July 21, 2019″I don’t know what will happen in the next days but, for sure, I will continue to defend the jersey with my team. They did a great job again [on Sunday]. I am looking forward to start the next week.” Acknowledging his lack of experience in such scenarios, Alaphilippe added: “When you have the yellow jersey on your shoulder, you have to defend it.”And to defend it, you have to stay calm, stay with the GC riders, and that is something I have never done before. It’s a big change for me, maybe I made a mistake to follow my instinct on the final climb [Sunday].”That is something you don’t do when you have a lot of experience and I will learn from that. I think I learned already after the finishing line.”last_img


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