Julian Alaphilippe by no means fails to ship drama and the 2020 Brabantse Pijl was no exception.
The newly-crowned world champion was essentially the most aggressive rider on the day and compelled the elite three-up group, including Mathieu van der Poel and Benoit Cosnefroy, that went to the line.
However Alaphilippe nearly repeated his disastrous mistake from Liège-Bastone-Liège final weekend, elevating his fingers too early as a rival surged from behind.
Fortunately for Alaphilippe, Mathieu van der Poel had mis-timed his dash and wasn’t fairly in a position to steal the victory, however it was nonetheless too shut for consolation for Alaphilippe.
Talking to Wielerflits after the end, the Deceuninck – Fast-Step rider stated: “I’ve to confess that I used to be glad that the road was getting nearer rapidly.
“Somewhat pressure can’t harm, proper? That manner folks don’t get bored. However Mathieu was certainly nonetheless robust.”
Alaphilippe has now taken his first win since turning into world champion, after a surprising show within the ultimate of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
The 28-year-old got here to the end of Liège with a five-rider group and the favorite, however issues when south when he veered off his sprinting line and nearly took out Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), earlier than he then raised his arms too early to permit Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) to cross him on the line.
Alaphilippe was relegated to fifth place within the group for his harmful dash and later apologised to Hirschi.
You’d suppose the Frenchman would have performed it secure in Brabantsje Pijl, notably with world-class rider Van der Poel on his wheel.
However after a tactical masterclass on the ultimate straight from Alaphilippe, blocking in Van der Poel and leaving his dash late, Alaphilippe nearly threw away the victory by elevating his arms earlier than the road.
He stated: “This win makes me completely happy because it got here on the proper second after the frustration of final Sunday. I took a while to consider what occurred there and I arrived right here with none stress, simply to have enjoyable and benefit from the expertise.
“Within the ultimate I took the duty and attacked a number of occasions to make the distinction. Going into the final kilometre, I had some ache within the legs, however gave my finest, and though it was actually shut once more, I’m delighted that I got here out on prime. I didn’t anticipate to win at the moment, however I believed in my probabilities and I couldn’t be happier with this victory.”
Alaphilippe’s subsequent goal is the Tour of Flanders on October 18, the place he’s now among the many favourites after his excellent autumn to date.