Launched in the assault of victory on the Tour of Flanders in a leading trio with Mathieu Van der Poel and Wout Van Aert, the Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe fell violently by hitting a motorcycle. He stayed on the ground for a long time before giving up. His team announced that he suffered from fractures in his wrist, he will be operated on Monday.
It might be the only thing that could prevent Julian Alaphilippe to win this Sunday. Engaged in his first Tour of Flanders, the Frenchman seemed in great shape to win but fell violently when he hit a motorcycle, instantly putting an end to all his hopes.
After a first attack 49 kilometers from the finish in the wheel of his longtime teammate at Deceuninck – Quick Step, Dries Devenyns, Julian Alaphilippe had put in a layer a few kilometers later before taking off for good at 39 km from the end. In his wheel, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert, the two other long favorites of this 104e edition of Ronde van Vlaanderen. Proof that Julian Alaphilippe undoubtedly had the legs to play for victory for his first participation in the event.
Right wrist fractures
But while he was in the last position of the leading trio, stuck in the wheel of Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe did not see a motorcycle of the race organization which decelerated in a straight line and took it hit violently. The Dutchman avoided the bike at the last moment but the Auvergnat was surprised. Thrown to the ground by falling heavily on his back, the Frenchman saw his breakaway cronies fly away at the same time as his dreams of victory. Alaphilippe then gave up without knowing for the moment the physical consequences of his fall. “Alaph” was treated by a medical team and then transported to the Renaix hospital. A few hours later, his Deceuninck-Quick Step team announced that the World Champion was suffering from fractures on his right wrist. “X-rays showed fractures of metacarpals 2 and 4 of his right hand“, specifies the press release before adding that Alaphilippe”will be operated on Monday at Herentals hospital“.