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Julian Alaphilippe catches COVID, exits Tour de Wallonie

Alaphilippe out of action just days after scoring comeback victory on the Mur de Huy.

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Julian Alaphilippe is next in the COVID-ward.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl officials confirmed Alaphilippe is a DNS for stage 3 of the Tour de Wallonie, just 48 hours after the double world champ kicked back from injury with victory on the Mur de Huy in the opening day of the race.

“Unfortunately, Julian Alaphilippe won’t start stage 3 of the Tour of Wallonia after testing positive for COVID-19,” read a team message. “Wishing you a speedy recovery, Loulou!”

The setback continues an annus horribilis for Alaphilippe.

A spectacular crash at Strade Bianche forced the Frenchman out of the game on the gravel before a high-speed pileup at Liège-Bastogne-Liège left the Frenchman with a long list of injuries that saw him miss the Tour de France.

Rumors circulated that Alaphilippe would pivot toward a second-ever appearance at the Vuelta a España after he missed the Tour.

This weekend’s Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa, a race he won in 2018, was the next race on Alaphilippe’s program.