In Imola, Julian Alaphilippe makes his biggest dream come true: the Frenchman is the world champion

The French anthem fills the air at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in the final day of the UCI 2020 Road World Championships, Imola – Emilia-Romagna. The French Julian Alaphilippe claimed the rainbow jersey in the Men Elite road race. On the last ascent of the Cima Gallisterna, with less than 10 km to go, the 28 year-old rider from Saint-Amand-Montrond digged in and got rid of all his rivals. The captain of the French national team rode full gas in the following apparently flat stretch and flew on the descent leading to the finish. A few-second lead that he defended tenaciously over his chasers – van Aert, Fuglsang, Kwiatkowski, Roglic, and Hirschi. A handful of seconds enabled him to deliver and make his great dream come true: becoming the world champion. The Belgian Wout van Aert outsprinted the other contenders and took the silver, and the Swiss Marc Hirschi was third. Damiano Caruso, tenth, was the fastest Italian at the finish line.

Julian Alaphilippe photo ©Bettiniphoto – Imola2020 

I’m missing the words to describe this emotion. Today, I achieved the biggest goal in my career. I made many sacrifices, without leaving anything to chance. I must thank my teammates. It was a dream day, and I still have to realize what we’ve achieved

Alaphilippe says, still with tears in his eyes. 

On the last climb I went ‘full gas’ to gain some lead before the descent. I stopped thinking and just digged in. With 200m to go, I saw they couldn’t catch me anymore, and my dream came true. I am so happy!

adds the new world champion. He will debut wearing the rainbow jersey at the Flèche Wallone next Wednesday. 

Julian Alaphilippe. photo ©Bettiniphoto – Imola2020 

Wout van Aert, in second, cannot conceal his disappointment, as he has already been beaten by Filippo Ganna in the individual time trial:

This medal is heavier that the silver I won last Friday. Right now, I may look like a spoiled child, but I came here with high expectations and I was aiming at the gold. So, I’m disappointed. The only comfort I have is that I’ve been beaten by two great champions. I feel bad, because my team did a great work; everyone did his best. In any case, the season isn’t over yet, nice classics are coming, and I’ll try to keep on benefiting from the good condition I’ve shown so far

Marc Hirschi, already an Under23 world champion, is satisfied of his bronze:

It was a super hard race, I didn’t feel in my best form, but probably I wasn’t the only one. On the last ascent I clenched my teeth to remain with the strongerst riders, and I did. I’m very happy of my third place. I did all I possibly could. I was outsprinted by Wout, but I have no regret. After my stage victory at the Tour de France, this medal is the completion of a special period for me

Ordine d'arrivo

1) ALAPHILIPPE Julian (France) km 258.2 in 6:38:34 (average speed 38.869 kph)

2) van AERT Wout (Belgium) +24

3) HIRSCHI Marc (Switzerland) +24

4) KWIATKOWSKI Michal (Poland) +24

5) FUGLSANG Jakob (Denmark) +24

6) ROGLIC Primoz (Slovenia) +24

7) MATTHEWS Michael (Australia) +53

8) VALVERDE Alejandro (Spain) +53

9) SCHACHMANN Maximilian (Germany) +53

10) CARUSO Damiano (Italy) +53

photo ©Bettiniphoto – Imola2020 

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