Julian Alaphilippe was close again to take the victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. The world champion seemed to be heading for victory, but he was beaten to the finish by Tadej Pogacar.
“It was a big goal for me this year. I think I did well to be on the podium behind the winner of the Tour [de France],” Alaphilippe said.
“I’m quite happy but I prefer to win. Being on the podium in Liège is always something special. I tried to win but Tadej was stronger. Congrats to him.”
“The Ardennes were pretty good. I took a nice victory on Wednesday and now I’m runner-up behind the winner of the Tour. It could’ve been much worse,” Alaphilippe said.
“I wasn’t focusing on Valverde or anybody. I was focused on making sure it came down to a sprint. My goal was not to go alone or bluff and let someone else ride away, not to make mistakes. When it got down to the sprint it kicked off quite well. I was well-positioned and I felt good but in the end, I was beaten by a stronger rider. Pogacar was clever, he was on my wheel and that played out well for him. His timing was good and he had the power to come back from behind. It was perfect from him. Bravo. It’s a magnificent victory. No regrets”.