fell and evacuated on a stretcher, Julian Alaphilippe forced to retire less than a month from the Worlds

The French rider fell in a bend on Wednesday during the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain.

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He was to relaunch a little less than a month from the Worlds in Australia (September 25). But the holder of the rainbow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe, suffered a new setback on Wednesday August 31, during the 11th stage of the Vuelta towards Cabo de Gata.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team rider fell heavily on the right flank, alone, 65 kilometers from the finish line. After several minutes on the ground, surrounded by doctors and his staff, the Frenchman was forced to retire and was evacuated on a stretcher. He seemed hit in the right shoulder.

The dark season continues. After having already fallen on the Strade Bianche in early March, the reigning double world champion had to withdraw from Milan-San Remo due to bronchitis. A few days later, dragged into a collective fall, the Frenchman had fallen into the side of another classic, Liège-Bastogne-Liège. An impressive bowl that had forced him to stay several days in the hospital, with a fractured shoulder blade and a hemopneumothorax. Too fair for the Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe had seen one of the main objectives of his season slip away.

Head then turned towards the Worlds in Australia, the French resumed on the Tour de Wallonie on July 23, with an entry victory at the top of the wall of Huy. But three days later, a positive test for Covid-19 thwarted his preparation, less than a month from the Vuelta.

It’s in a team role for his leader – and current red jersey – Remco Evenepoel which he distinguished himself on this Tour of Spain. But halfway through, it’s all over for him. Above all, theeing to line up in Wollongong, Australia in the Road Cycling World Championships road race is all but guaranteed.

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