The brand new world champion Julian Alaphilippe has had a Belgian manager for about seven years. Dries Smets was a guest in our podcast De Tribune on Monday. He knows the energetic and super talented Frenchman like no other.
“A spectator of his own life”, that’s how Julian Alaphilippe felt one day after his world title, according to his manager Dries Smets. “He still can’t believe it properly.” The two have known each other for many years, since Alaphilippe came into the sights of Smets with the Quick-Step youth team.
“The world title has always been a dream for Julian and he has worked very hard towards it. In the corona period, he spent three months in lockdown in Andorra, where he lives. That was good for him after some very busy years, I think. “
His new relationship with Marion Rousse and the death of his father have also given him extra motivation. Like Julian: if he does something, it is up to 110 percent. He is an emotional type. As Patrick Lefevere said that Alaphilippe asked him whether he was proud, he often asks me that. That is the person Alaphilippe. He wants to please everyone. “
If you see what he has already achieved, then you do not do that by sitting in a disco until 4am.
Sometimes stories arise from the human Alaphilippe that he is a play bird, which does not always take optimal care of himself. “Those stories sometimes disturb me,” said Smets. “It’s easy for an outsider to say and he has had wild hair, but a lot has changed.”
“His relationship with Marion Rousse now also gives him a certain stability. He is of course a nervous type and you saw that during the World Cup on the bike. That’s who he is, but I think it’s a shame that sometimes a caricature is made of it. is becoming.”
“If you see what he has already achieved, then you do not do that by sitting in a disco until 4am. In modern cycling you cannot afford to lead a debauched life.”
“Alaphilippe didn’t mind being forgotten a bit for the World Cup”
The most frequently mentioned favorites for the World Cup in Imola were named Van Aert, Roglic, Pogacar. Julian Alaphilippe was not mentioned too often and that despite a course tailored to his needs.
That is not entirely coincidental, according to Dries Smets. “Julian used the third week of the Tour to build up. He deliberately kept a low profile during the week between the Tour and the World Cup and went to the course on Monday to prepare in peace.”
“I don’t think he minded that there was a lot of attention for Roglic, Van Aert and Pogacar, and was a little forgotten himself. It was a course tailored to his size and he performed it perfectly.”
“He had also indicated to me before the World Cup that he wanted to stay out of the limelight (for example on social media) and did not find it necessary to create extra pressure with a lot of interviews. I thought that was very sensible and is something he has over the years learned.”
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