Julian Alaphilippe sports a special, one-off world champion’s jersey to promote main sponsor Deceuninck’s new range of Elegant windows, with the entire team being known as Elegant-QuickStep for the Tour of Flanders A week or so ago, after winning the Brabantse Pijl in the rainbow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe pleaded not to be named as a favourite for the Tour of Flanders . Less than 48 hours out from the big day, however, the world champion and his Elegant-QuickStep team seemed less worried about playing down his chances.
Alaphilippe, for a start, has been given the team’s top race number, wearing 11 ahead of a 12 to 17 roster that includes decorated cobbled Classics riders in Yves Lampaert, Zdenek Stybar, Kasper Asgreen and Florian Sénéchal.
When the team gathered for a pre-race press conference on Friday afternoon, Alaphilippe was seated front and centre, flanked by Stybar and Lampaert, with Asgreen in the back row alongside Gent-Wevelgem runner-up Sénéchal, domestique Tim Declercq and Dries Devenyns. The latter’s presence itself was telling. Devenyns is Alaphilippe’s closest ally – his right-hand man in the Ardennes and the Tour de France – and wouldn’t be here unless his leader was.
Alaphilippe and Elegant-QuickStep explore Tour of Flanders parcours – Gallery Julian Alaphilippe: Don’t call me a favourite for Tour of Flanders 10 riders to watch at the men’s Tour of Flanders
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