Julian Alaphilippe will make his Tour of Flanders debut in 2020 as he says that needs ‘new challenges’.
Rather than prioritising a tilt for the Tour de France next season, Alaphilippe will head to the cobblestones with Deceuninck-QuickStep before targetting the Ardennes Classics.
“I’m going there to see what it’s all about,” he told L’Equipe “I need new challenges.”
If Alaphilippe goes to Flanders, he will be handed a free role to see how he gets on rather than be burdened with the tag of team leader.
“[He said] ‘We are okay with you doing the Tour of Flanders but do not make it your number one objective, because, if it doesn’t work out, we still need you up to Liège,” Alaphilippe said.
“I’m an important leader for the Ardennes but Patrick also knows that, if I’m not too bad at Flanders, I’ll be important for the team.”
2019 was an astonishing season for the Frenchman, which included countless major victories and two weeks in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.
“I’ve just had an exceptional season but I never rest on my laurels,” Alaphilippe told L’Equipe. “I’m starting again from zero.”