After a promising start of the 2017 season that saw Julian Alaphilippe nab a stage victory and fifth on GC at Paris-Nice and a podium spot at Milan-San Remo, he missed the Ardennes Classics due to a knee injury.
However, Alaphilippe believes he has what it takes to end Alejandro Valverde’s Ardennes domination in 2018.
“I want to win these races [Ardennes Classics] with Valverde in the peloton. I don’t want to win bike races because he or a certain rider is not there”, says Alaphilippe.
“Obviously, I would like to win a big race like one of the Monuments or race well in the Tour but this depends on how the race plays out”.
“Look at Milan-San Remo for example, I was one of three guys to race the finish which hasn’t happened in a long time”.
“Each race is different every year and if it is not me trying to win then it can be Philippe Gilbert or Fernando Gaviria or another rider and then I will just do my job to help them.”
“I want to stay motivated but I also need to remain calmer when I race and motivated on a goal, making less mistakes than last year then maybe I can take a big win.”