It is under the bravos of the public that Julian Alaphilippe (Deuceuninck-Quick Step) arrived in front of the journalists, a sign that his popularity grows as and when his exploits. He thanked them with the hand before returning to his solo victory at Epernay during the 3rd stage of the Tour de France, after a ride whose last winner of Milan-San Remo now has the secret.
In what state of mind do you find yourself?
JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE. I still need time to realize. It will be one of the most beautiful moments of my career. Going for a victory on the Tour is always special, but that way being very expected and with the yellow jersey at the end I could not hope better.
What went through your head?
Already the pain. It was not easy to provide the effort to the line. And after that is the relaxation. When you start to realize that you have yellow on your shoulders it is a dream for all runners. It's really special. Before wearing it, I could only imagine it. Now I can say that I have the yellow jersey and it's just amazing.
Have you dreamt about it ?
Oh yes. Everyone I think, no?
Have you doubted in the end?
To be honest, in the last few kilometers I did not think about the yellow jersey and I just wanted to keep the gap to win the stage. The yellow jersey would have been the bonus at that time. And in the last meters I did the maximum.
Did you put a lot of pressure on this step for a month?
(He blows and smiles as a result) Yes and even in recent days. I was obviously focused on the first stage and even the Sunday team time trial where we had a good performance in Brussels (Editor's note: 3rd). But before the Tour started I was already thinking about what I would do today (on Monday). I did exactly what I wanted to do. It's the hardest. And when it works, you have to know how to savor.
And now ?
I will fight to keep it and if I do not keep it for a long time it will remain like a moment that I will not forget. I spotted the Vosges (NDLR: the 6th stage with the arrival at the Planche-des-Belles-Fillesand it's not really for explosive runners like me, but rather for climbers. I know I'm climbing well, but it's just a bonus now. The Yellow Jersey will not change anything in my running and I will fight every day.
Your popularity rating will explode now?
I really want to thank everyone who really supports me especially since my Tour last year. In every village, in every city, I hear my name, it touches me a lot each time. I am happy to give happiness to people and they give it back to me with their support. Thank you all.
His arrival on the line