Last week, you sent us on Twitter your questions for Julian Alaphilippe. After getting them, the 24-year-old Frenchman – a debutant at the Tour de France – selected the best 10 and replied to them.
– What's your favorite climb in this year's Tour? (@delabklyn)
I don't know yet, it's my first Tour de France and I'm discovering it day by day. There are many legendary climbs which I never did, not even in training, so to have the opportunity to finally go up on these climbs is really great and I'm grateful for having this chance.
– Which is your favourite race? (@oldyellowaltz)
The Tour de France, of course, and the Ardennes Classics. For me, these are the best and most beautiful races in the world.
– Did you expect to have such a good Tour de France debut? (@AlohaAmar)
Not really. I knew I could have done something, but this race is so difficult that I wasn't expecting such strong results and the popularity which came with these. People now recognize me, come to me to talk and take pictures with tme, and that's when you realize how big the Tour de France really is.
– How much did racing and winning the Tour of California helped your preparation and confidence for the Tour de France? (@LindaKazahLocke)
Winning is always important. This year I started my season a little bit later and to be honest I wasn't thinking of the GC when I lined up at the start in California. I just took things day by day and noticed that I have good legs, which eventually helped me go home with the yellow jersey. I really enjoyed that win, which was very important for my confidence, as was also my performance in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
– What kind of music do you listen? (@pippotrenda)
I like everything. On the massage table I like to listen music from the '80s and Belgian music. We have a radio and we listen a lot of music. I really like the radio, because it's different from a playlist, as you never know what's next.
– What do you prefer: winning a stage in the Tour de France and wearing the yellow jersey or winning a classic like Liège–Bastogne–Liège? (@ImjoOfficial)
It's very hard to say. Both are big events and to be victorious in a Grande Boucle stage and take the prestigious yellow jersey even for a day or to win a mythical Classic would make me equally happy.
– When people have big expectations from you, is it difficult to remain calm and wait for the right moment to come? (@JimmyGeerinckx)
I try to distance myself from the race before the start. I don't feel the pressure of the people surrounding me, just the pressure I put on myself to succeed, to reach my goals and to become a better rider in all aspects.
– Who was your idol when you were young? (@AnneSophiePoux)
I've never had idols. I admire a lot of people, but don't have any idols.
– What do you say to yourself when you are suffering on a climb? (@paulrobinson770)
If I'm suffering so much, then for sure somebody is suffering even more. No, to be sincere, when you are in the mountains and the race is on, you don't have time to think too much, you just try to give everything so you can get the result that you came for.
– With which former cyclist would you have liked to be on the same team? (@cyclist_rob)
As I said before, I don't have any idol. I am super happy to be a rider of Etixx – Quick-Step. I like all the riders here and it's very important to be in a good team, where you can feel the confidence of others. I wouldn't change anything and if I were to choose again, I would choose Etixx – Quick-Step.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele