Julian Alaphilippe hoped to win Strade Bianche for the second year in a row on Saturday, but the Frenchman played no significant role in the Italian classic due to a bad day.
“It was impossible today,” said 28-year-old Alaphilippe on the site of his team Deceuninck-Quick-Step. “I have lost count of how many times I have had to stop and chase. The race itself is tough enough and you can miss these mechanical problems.”
The hardships for the classicist started after 10 kilometers, when he had to chase because of a broken rear wheel. After that he got a flat tire no less than five times.
Alaphilippe always tried to return at the head of the race, but just like Mathieu van der Poel, who also had to deal with material problems, he had to finally unload Santa Maria about 50 kilometers from the line on the steep and unpaved hill .
“I continued to the finish out of respect and love for this race. It was my first race after Paris-Nice and a good test with a view to the rest of the season,” said Alaphilippe, who will start in Milan this month. -San Remo, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.
Wout van Aert soloed beautifully to the victory in the sweltering fourteenth edition of Strade Bianche. Alaphilippe finished 24th in more than fifteen minutes from the Belgian of Jumbo-Visma.