The Frenchman led home the Wolfpack at the first Monument of the season.
Julian Alaphilippe concluded in 11th place – just ahead of teammate Davide Ballerini – the 114th edition of Milano-Sanremo, which once again proved to be too hard for the sprinters, all taken out of contention when the attacks began on the mythical Poggio. Up until then, the two-time World Champion had a fairly quiet race, staying out of the wind and well protected in the bunch, the only scare coming with 140 kilometers to go, when he was involved in a crash, fortunately with no consequences.
On the Cipressa, Alaphilippe was at all times in the top 10, and he remained there also on the descent, where French Champion Florian Sénéchal took the front to set the tempo. Unfortunately, he lost some positions in the run-in to the final climb, and when the peloton split two kilometers from the top, he found himself in the chasing group. Despite their best efforts, they arrived some 20-odd seconds behind winner Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) on the Via Roma, where Julian came close to a top 10.
“We had hopes for a good result today, but it wasn’t meant to be. Julian was disappointed by his positioning ahead of the Poggio, that was the key. Before the climb, Florian brought the guys to the front, but then something happened and Julian wasn’t there anymore. It’s a pity, because he had good legs and could have fought for a better result”, said Soudal Quick-Step sports director Wilfried Peeters.
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