Julian Alaphilippe: The rainbow jersey makes mistakes

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) may have hung up the wheels for the winter but the two-time world road champion has been busy with a new book that appeared in early November.

Entitled “Julian”, the book traces a year in the Frenchman’s life and follows the personal ups and downs he has faced since winning the first of his rainbow jerseys in 2021. During A press conference to publicize the book, Alaphilippe told reporters that wearing the rainbow jersey made him make mistakes as a runner.

He highlighted the arrival of Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2021, when he celebrated too early in the sprint and lost to Primož Roglič and several other riders as a prime example. He also alluded to the pressures that come with running as a men’s world champion and the thought of disappointing fans was sometimes a burden on his shoulders.

“The rainbow jersey makes people make mistakes,” he said Het Nieuwsblad.

“I had to learn to ride with this jersey, I had to learn to wear the jersey. My biggest mistake? My defeat at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, without a doubt. I wanted to make this jersey shine too much and that’s why I made a mistake. You don’t want to disappoint anyone with a jersey like this: not the fans, not the team and not even myself. I hope I won’t make those mistakes again next year and can do my thing next season without complexes: race and win. “

The 29-year-old also opened up about his connection to Belgian cycling and the country as a whole. He raced his entire career for Patrick Lefevere’s team after joining the ranks of the WorldTour in 2014.

“Because I have defended the colors of the Belgian Deceuninck-Quick-Step team all my career, because I had my first successes in Belgian competitions, I have always felt at home here, Belgium. has always welcomed. And love is mutual. I like the Belgian races, also the Flemish ones. I don’t think you will find fifty runners in France who have these races in their DNA. I do. So you must be partly Belgian.

Another reason for the book is Alaphilippe’s desire to share his emotional journey. In addition to experiencing success on the bike, he also experienced important personal moments outside of cycling – from the birth of his first son to the tragic loss of his late father.

“The book represents about a year of my career, but not just any year. It was a year full of emotions, both professionally and privately. Enough to write a book on it, I thought. The memories, the images… I wanted to share that with my fans.

“I tried to speak as openly as possible about that year,” he said.

“Because there were so many emotions: the world titles, of course, but there was also a lot going on in my private life. I thought that should be in the book too. All of those conversations came up. naturally.”

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