Etixx-Quick Step‘s Julian Alaphilippe came into the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine, off the back of his first general classification victory at the Tour of California last month, as one of the young riders to watch in the Tour de France dress rehearsal. The 23-year-old didn’t disappoint as he rode to fifth place in the challenging 3.9km uphill Les Gets time trial to secure the first young rider jersey of the race.
“Now I’m more relaxed, but it wasn’t easy out there, especially as it was for the first time that I rode such a prologue,” Alaphilippe said of the Dauphine opener, won by Alberto Contador. “I think everybody suffered today, the climb was a nasty one, but luckily it suited me, so I could get this top 5.”
Teammate Dan Martin also put in a good ride, finishing in fourth place, to ensure Etixx-Quick Step are well placed for a tilt at the general classification even if both riders are unsure of their overall aspirations. With several stages to come that will suit the sprinters before a weekend of uphill stage finishes, Alaphilippe added he isn’t looking too far ahead but is looking to add to his Tour of California stage win before a likely debut at the Tour next month.
“I am happy for myself and for Dan, these results are really good for the team. Now I hope to have a good week and maybe go for a stage win at some point.”
Julian Alaphilippe on his way to fifth in the Dauphine prologue in Les Gets (TDW Sports)
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