The World Champion will make his first outing of the year on home soil, at the four-day stage race.
Julian Alaphilippe is set to kick off his eighth pro season in three weeks’ time at the Tour de la Provence, which will take place between 11-14 February. Created five years ago, the race will once again have a demanding parcours, with the trip up Chalet-Reynard – just a few kilometers from the top of the Mont Ventoux – being the highlight of this sixth edition.
It will be Alaphilippe’s first appearance at La Provence since 2016, the year of the inaugural edition, and the rainbow jersey holder – who later in the month will make his Omloop Het Nieuwsblad debut – is looking forward to racing in front of his countrymen and showing the World Champion jersey he conquered in Italy.
“Winning in Imola was the best moment of last year for me and getting to wear the rainbow jersey for twelve months gives me huge pride. I can’t wait to show it in as many races as possible this season. I’m still recovering after my injury at last November’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, but I have made some important steps since then and I am confident it will be better in the coming weeks.”
“I am excited about racing for the first time this season in France, it should be a nice experience. I took part in the Tour de la Provence a few years ago and I am glad to be back. I like the parcours, but I will go there without any specific goals. The most important thing will be to rebuild the shape, and hopefully Provence will help me do just that before my spring appointments, when I’ll be aiming for some strong results”, added Julian.
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel