Julian Alaphilippe Reveals Secret Battle with Fractured Fibula After Strade Bianche

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Alaphilippe’s Secret Injury RevealedTim de Waele - Getty Images

In an interview with Le Parisien, Julian Alaphilippe recently revealed that he has been competing with a fractured left fibula (located at the knee joint). The injury was caused by a crash at Strade Bianche in March. He’s since raced Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, E3 Saxo Classic, Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the Tour of Flanders. But now admits that he wishes he hadn’t.

“I didn’t want to say it because I didn’t want people to think I was making something up. I suffered a lot from that fall in Strade Bianche,” he said.

The Frenchman went on to say that he experienced quite a bit of pain but still finished ninth at Milano-Sanremo. He eventually got an X-ray, which revealed the fracture, but he described it as more of an annoyance. Ultimately, it was left up to Alaphilippe whether he would continue to race.

He pushed through the Spring Classics and took 70th place at Flanders. “It was the wrong decision to do that,” he said, about racing Flanders. “You have to be 100 percent anyway. With my injury, that was impossible. I was motivated, and I didn’t want to pass after all my efforts, but I should have taken care of myself.”

Alaphilippe and his team boss, Patrick Lefevere, have had some friction recently, and some have speculated that the decision to keep racing contributed to it.

In February, “Lefevere criticized his French rider. ‘I think there have been too many parties and too much alcohol at home,’ the Belgian said. ‘Julian is under the control of Marion Rousse. I spoke to him in November. We were with Marion and his manager, Dries Smets. I said, ‘It can’t go on like this. If you still do something wrong, I’ll fire you right away,’” according to Canadian Cycling Magazine.

Coming to Alaphilippe’s defense, Marion Rousse, a former professional cyclist and director of the Tour de France Femmes, responded to Lefevere, “Whatever Mr. Lefevere’s feelings towards me, it is unacceptable to attack our private lives as he is doing. So no, I don’t drink alcohol, ever. We also didn’t during the holidays because, with a three-year-old, we prefer to feel good in the morning. You will not succeed either, as you have already mentioned to me, in preventing me from working to keep myself busy and stay with Julian for the duration of his career.”

Regardless of the reasoning, Alaphilippe seems to be taking better care of himself now and will hopefully heal quickly enough to return to racing.

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