(Calpe) Julian Alaphilippe, darling of the French public, will “a priori” not participate in the Tour de France in 2024, said the boss of his Soudal-Quick Step team Patrick Lefevere on Tuesday in Calpe, in the south-east of the Spain.
“A priori no, because seeing Julian as a 100% domestic Remco Evenepoel, I don’t like that image,” said Lefevere on the sidelines of his team’s presentation about the former double world champion whose the contract expires at the end of the year.
Winner of six stages of the Tour de France and wearer of the yellow jersey for a total of 18 days, “Alaf”, 31, remains on two very mixed seasons which have regularly aroused criticism from Lefevere against one of the biggest salaries of his team.
At the 2024 Tour de France (June 29-July 21), Soudal-Quick Step will bet everything on Remco Evenepoel who has gradually taken power within the Belgian team and who will start the Grande Boucle for the first time.
Alaphilippe, who is currently in Australia where he will compete in the Tour Down Under for the first time in ten years next week, is expected to take part in the Tour of Italy (May 4-26).
“I think the Giro suits his style as an impulsive runner, not always intelligent, but who people like,” Lefevere said.
Asked for the Frenchman’s reaction to his likely non-selection for the Tour, he said: “A disgruntled rider in a team is useless. He had the opportunity to leave, as several teams looked to recruit him. I had discussions with him, but the year before, not last year. I said the things I wanted to say, but I’m not someone who repeats myself. We reached an agreement. He said to me: Patrick, give me one more winter. Now it’s up to him to show it. I like riders who respond to the pedal and he will do that. I think he is still capable of producing results. »