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"I learned it during the team meeting we had in Paris so I will return to training this week. It is the first time I will go to Australia and I am happy to start there," Alaphilippe tells website of the French federation

Photo: Sirotti






13.11.2013 @ 17:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

A very good 2013 season earned the highly talented Julien Alaphilippe a contract with Omega Pharma-Quick Step for 2014. The Frenchman will get his first taste of WorldTour racing right from the beginning of the year as he will make his debut in his new colours in the Tour Down Under.


At just 21 years of age, Julian Alaphilippe has marked himself out as a future star and next year he will take the next step in the process of becoming one of the best cyclists in the world. Having been with the feeder team Etixx-Ihned in 2013, the talented Frenchman will turn professional with one of the biggest teams in the world, Omega Pharma-Quick Step.


Being a versatile athlete, Alaphilippe has shown his talents repeatedly during the 2013 season. In April, he won a stage and finished 5th overall in the Tour de Bretagne and in June he both won the Grand Prix Sudkärnten and a stage in the Thüringen Rundfahrt.


However , his best performances came at the end of the season when he won a stage in the Tour de l'Avenir and finished 3rd three times, thus earning the win in the points competition. He went on to play a leading role at the world championships where he rode an aggressive race  but he was ultimately dropped by Matej Mohoric who went on to win the race.


Riding alongside stars like Mark Cavendish, Tony Martin, Tom Boonen and Rigoberto Uran, he knows that his role will be completely different in 2014.


"I am the youngest of the group," he told in an interview published on the website of the French federation. "I have no pressure. I'm here to learn and do as much as possible for the team. This year I will ride for my teammates and so I have time to adapt. Anyway, I'm no braggart, I prefer to be discreet."


Alaphilippe has already taken part in the first team meeting in Paris and he had a warm reception.


"My first meeting with the guys was very nice," he said. "I sat opposite Petacchi at the dinner table, with Bakelants on my right-hand side. Everyone treated me well, even Cavendish gave me a nod when we took measure for my new bike."


Alaphilippe will get a hard first event as a professional as he has been selected for the first WorldTour race of the season, the Tour Down Under.


"I learned it during the team meeting we had in Paris so I will return to training this week," he said. "It is the first time I will go to Australia and I am happy to start there."


Being a national U23 champion, Alaphilippe is also a great cyclo-cross rider. With his road season staring already in January, there will, however, be little time for off-road racing.


 "I'm not doing cyclo-cross," he said." I will do a few races in December in preparation of the road season, then I will have a team training camp in Mallorca and then my first race."


For a neo-pro, the professional world can be a bit overwhelming but Alaphilippe has already found himself a personal mentor in Belgian climber Serge Pauwels.


"We roomed together [at the team meeting in Paris]," he said. "He treated me very well. He told me that he will also travel to Australia for the Tour Down Under and will take me under his wings."


Like Alaphilippe, his teammate Petr Vakoc will turn professional with Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2014



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