Julian Alaphilippe made up for an embarrassing blunder last weekend by winning the Brabantse Pijl, his first victory since becoming world champion.
Alaphilippe was left red-faced on Sunday when he let up too early and crossed the finish line of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege with his arms aloft in victory, only to be passed by Tour de France runner-up Primoz Roglic.
Three days later, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider atoned for his blunder by dominating his rivals in a three-man sprint finish at the Brabantse Pijl. Once again, Alaphilippe appeared to raise his arms a bit early as he crossed the line, but this time his closest rival, Mathieu van der Poel, could not catch up and Alaphilippe won by a few inches. Frenchman Benoit Cosnefroy completed the podium.
“This win makes me happy as it came at the right moment after the disappointment of last Sunday”, said Alaphilippe. “I took some time to think about what happened there and I arrived here without any pressure, just to have fun and enjoy the experience. I am grateful to the team, which was very strong, and always by my side. Dries played an important role today; he is indispensable to me, has a lot of experience, works hard for the team, is always calm and knows what to do in the important moments.”
“In the final I took the responsibility and attacked several times to make the difference. Going into the last kilometer, I had some pain in the legs, but gave my best, and although it was really close again, I’m delighted that I came out on top. I didn’t expect to win today, but I believed in my chances and I couldn’t be happier with this victory”.