Tour de France - Julian Alaphilippe: I can't find my words to tell you how I feel
Jun 27 2021 04:16 am CET

Tour de France - Julian Alaphilippe: I can't find my words to tell you how I feel
Tour de France - Julian Alaphilippe: I can't find my words to tell you how I feel
Photo of Julian Alaphilippe (c) Wout Beel

Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Julian Alaphilippe is the first GC leader of the Tour de France after winning the first stage of the race.

The Belgian team controlled the speed of the pack throughout the stage and although the Frenchman got affected by one of the crashes, he managed to return to the front. The World Champion followed his teammates on the last climb of the day and after their work was done, he accelerated, creating a gap that couldn't be closed.

"This is such a special victory, I can't find my words to tell you how I feel," said Alaphilippe. "First and foremost, I want to say a big thank you to all my teammates for taking care of me today and showing an amazing team spirit. I was involved in that first big crash, but with their help I made it back. They believed in me, worked hard the entire day and I am happy I could repay them.

"It's incredible to take the victory and the yellow jersey after the birth of my son. If you would have told me before the start this will happen on the opening stage, I wouldn't have believed it. I came into the race motivated and with the goal of getting a win and wearing yellow again at some point, and I'm happy I achieved it so early."

This victory is the 100th in a Grand Tour for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, which adds something special to the day. "Today, the plan was to make it a tough race for the fast men, so I asked the guys to ride full gas from the very beginning," explained the rider. "Then, in the finale, Kasper guided me on the first ramps of the climb before Dries came on the left, which was the signal for me to follow him. I did just that and when he finished his effort, I just took off. I decided to go all out and as soon as I noticed a small gap, I continued to pull hard and give everything.

"Now I'm hearing that I racked up the 100th Grand Tour stage win in the history of this fabulous team, and all I can say is that I am proud to be part of this amazing achievement."






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