Julian Alaphilippe does not label himself as the main candidate to win Milan-San Remo on Saturday. The world champion estimates Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert higher.
“I am a favorite, I have the legs and I am in shape, but Mathieu and Wout are the top favorites”, Alpahilippe said on Thursday at a digital press moment.
The Frenchman won the Italian spring classic in 2019, finished second behind Van Aert last year and finished third in 2017 after a millimeter sprint with Michal Kwiatkowski and Peter Sagan.
“I don’t really know why this race suits me so well. In itself the Poggio is not a difficult climb, but with all those race kilometers in the legs it is not that easy and then I can make the difference as a ‘puncher'”, Alpahilippe said of the climb just before the finish of the nearly 300-kilometer race, which often serves as an executioner.
“Our big advantage is that we can play two more trumps with Sam Bennett and Davide Ballerini”, the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider continues. “Sam drove a strong Paris-Nice with two stage victories, Ballerini proved in the Omloop that he still has fast legs after a tough race. Our strength in width is our greatest asset.”
Alpahilippe, like Van der Poel and Van Aert, was active in Tirreno-Adriatico. He won one stage, while Van der Poel and Van Aert were each successful twice in the Italian stage race.
Julian Alaphilippe (left) was narrowly beaten by Wout van Aert in San Remo last year.
Source site www.nu.nl