Prestigious award is the latest in a long list of accolades for the 27-year-old rider of Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Julian Alaphilippe became just the second Frenchman in history (and the first in 24 years) to receive the Velo d’Or Mondial, the award won since 1992 by some of cycling’s biggest names, including two former Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders, Tom Boonen (2005) and Paolo Bettini (2006).
Professional since 2014, when he joined Deceuninck – Quick-Step after a solid and spectacular U23 season, Alaphilippe has continually moved through the ranks within the Wolfpack and became one of the sport’s household names – a rider who possesses a fantastic power to astonish and turn his immense talent into marquee victories.
In 2019, he won 12 races, from Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo and Flèche Wallonne in the spring to a pair of stages at the 106th Tour de France. But maybe his most impressive feat of the year was keeping hold of the iconic yellow jersey – which last summer turned 100 years – for a full two weeks, breathing life into his home Grand Tour and capturing the hearts and imagination of the entire French nation.
Despite putting an end to his season after the World Championships, Julian remained in the spotlight, being named International Flandrien of the Year a couple of weeks ago – the first Frenchman recipient of this award – in recognition of his outstanding season, to which he now added both the Velo d’Or Français and Mondial after receiving the most votes from the international journalists.
“I am very happy with the incredible season I’ve had and to receive the Velo d’Or is a beautiful way to conclude this amazing year. I want to thank those who voted for me and decided that I should receive this trophy, it’s a great honour. It was an unforgettable campaign, with many beautiful moments – from winning my first Monument in March to wearing the yellow jersey for 14 days – which wouldn’t have been possible without my extraordinary squad”, said an elated Julian, whose results in 2019 contributed to Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s second consecutive triumph in the UCI World Team Classification.
Photo credit: ©Alexis Réau/L’Équipe