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Applause but also boos from Belgian fans on Alaphilippe: 'This made me do more' |  Alaphilippe succeeds himself as world champion

Applause but also boos from Belgian fans on Alaphilippe: ‘This made me do more’ | Alaphilippe succeeds himself as world champion

cycling world championshipNot Wout, but Julian. For the second year in a row. Alaphilippe spoke of a dream. An unexpected one. He said he drew extra energy from the boos of the Belgian fans along the World Cup track in the Leuven final. Because in addition to the applause for the French winner, the reactions were also less pleasant.

The joy in the camp of our southern neighbors was immense. In the lion’s den, a rainbow shirt was stolen, a French dream came true. Feelings set off. “That wasn’t the plan, but it worked anyway,” Alaphilippe laughed ecstatically for national coach Voeckler. Alaphilippe had one big advantage: he knows how to become a world champion. Last year at Imola he did it once and left Van Aert behind. In Leuven, Wout never came close. His legs don’t budge.

Super legs, they had an Alaphilippe. “I came here relaxed and motivated this week and have done really well the last few days. I knew what to do, the course worked for me. But until then, I never thought I would go that far in the final. Twenty kilometers from In the end, I asked Sénéchal to save himself and that we would catch a glimpse of the cat outside the tree. But then I went for him. My first attack was followed by a second. And then he would give everything… How I hurt myself. No, I have no words for this victory.”

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Alaphilippe also stabbed Belgian fans who whistled or treated him to Boo. “It wasn’t always nice, and I didn’t always get kind words in my head. But these Belgian fans – and there were a lot of them – gave me extra energy to go even harder.”

In a chosen club of seven

Imola 2020: Julian Alaphilippe. Leuven 2021: Julian Alaphilippe. The 29-year-old Frenchman doesn’t have to hand over his rainbow jersey. In the past, six contestants have succeeded as world champions.

• George Ronse (Bill): 1928 in Budapest and 1929 in Zurich

• Rick van Steenbergen (Bill): 1956 in Copenhagen and 1957 in Wargem

• Rick Van Lowe (Bell): 1960 in Karl Marx Stadt and 1961 in Bern

• Gianni Bogno (ETA): 1991 in Stuttgart and 1992 in Benidorm

• Paolo Petini (ETA): 2006 in Salzburg and 2007 in Stuttgart

• Peter Sagan (SLO): 2015 in Richmond, 2016 in Doha, 2017 in Bergen

• Julien Alfelipe (FRA): 2020 at Imola and 2021 in Leuven