While he has confided in the past that he wants to play the general classification of the Tour de France, Bernard Hinault is hardly optimistic for the double world champion tricolor.
The years pass and Julian Alaphilippe’s chances of shining on a Grand Tour dwindle a little more each year. Asked about his goals for 2023, the Quick-Step runner had also been clear last month. While in the absence of Remco Evenepoel, engaged in the Giro, the native of Saint-Amand-Montrond should hold the role of leader next July on the Grande Boucle, he will still be aiming for nothing other than victories. ‘stage.
“Aiming for the general classification? I do not think so. In any case, we won’t have a team at the start to play for the general classification, he confided. It was never my ambition or a goal. But, of course, it will be a very important race for me after missing the last edition. » After finishing in fifth place in the general classification in 2019, the French rider was content with stage victories and a few days in yellow in 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, his injury during Liège-Bastogne-Liège l deprived of the Grande Boucle.
But according to Bernard Hinault, when he will celebrate his 31st birthday a few weeks before the start of the Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe cannot aim higher than stage victories. “He has two world championship titles, some great classics and significant victories on stages on the Tour with the yellow jersey at the end. He is the best French rider of the 2020s, but I don’t think he can do better. Those who win a Grand Tour dominate in the mountains or in the time trial, two areas where there is better than him”, he confided in the columns of Cyclisme Magazine.