• France's Julian Alaphilippe, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey jokes as he is carried on the back of his teammate Enric Mas (Getty)Source: Getty
Julian Alaphilippe was hoping to contend for victory at the Giro di Lombardia, but after an epic season, it's time for the panache tash to take a rest.
Source:
Deceuninck–Quick-Step
9 Oct 2019 - 11:47 AM  UPDATED 9 Oct 2019 - 11:55 AM

“I am really sad to tell you that I will not be racing Milano-Torino and Il Lombardia this week," the Frenchman said. "And that my incredible 2019 season has come to an end.

"You know that I always give everything and have done ever since my year started in Argentina. I’ve worked really hard to try and be at my peak for a third time this year, having raced hard at the Classics and Le Tour, but I knew at the Worlds that my form is short of where I would like it to be.

"I really wanted to be with the guys in Italy and give my all for the team, but as I can’t do that, it makes sense that I start my post-season recovery now, in order to be in the best possible shape for the start of next year.”

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The man they call 'Juju' has earned a rest after a stratospheric 2019.

Any pro rider would be ecstatic if they achieved in their career what Alaphilippe achieved in 2019. 

12 victories. One monument (Milan–San Remo), one almost monument (La Fleche Wallone) and the race that should be a monument (Strade Bianche).

Watch Alaphilippe win La Fleche Wallone

And that's before we even get to the Tour, where he was such a delight to watch and made it the best edition in at least a decade.  

The Frenchman attacked Stage 3 to Epernay like he did Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo and Fleche Wallone earlier this season. With that win, he moved into yellow until he lost it on the brutal La Planche des Belles Filles Stage 6 finish.

Alaphilippe's Stage 3 2019 Tour de France victory one for the ages

But Alaphilippe set his sights on winning back what became rightfully his for another 12 days. On the eve of Bastille Day, he leapt from the bunch with Thibaut Pinot, wresting back control of the maillot jaune, the first Frenchman to wear it on his nation's main holiday since 2014.

The surprises continued with an ITT victory on Stage 13, his win not too shocking considering the punchy nature of the course.

Wait, Alaphilippe can time trial?

We all expected him to crack but he clung onto yellow past the final rest day, only letting go in the extreme weather conditions brought a premature stop to Stage 19. 

On a modified Stage 20, Jumbo-Visma and Ineos pounded him into the mat further, Alaphilippe burying himself to finish the 2019 Tour de France a respectable fifth overall, just over two minutes off the podium. 

We could watch Julian Alaphilippe descend the Galibier at the 2019 Tour de France for days

His swashbuckling efforts earned him the Tour's most combative award and could see him win the Velo d’Or. 

Non, je ne regrette rien.

Julian Alaphilippe's 2019 victories (Career total: 30)

  1. Vuelta a San Juan Internacional - Stage 2
  2. Vuelta a San Juan Internacional - Stage 3 
  3. Colombia 2.1 - Stage 5 
  4. Strade Bianche 
  5. Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 2 
  6. Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 6 
  7. Milano-Sanremo
  8. Itzulia Basque Country
  9. La Flèche Wallonne - Stage 2
  10. Critérium du Dauphiné - Stage 6
  11. Tour de France - Stage 3
  12. Tour de France - Stage 13 (ITT)