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Julian Alaphilippe confirmed for UCI Road World Championships

David Gaudu and Benoît Cosnefroy miss out on selection.

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Julian Alaphilippe has been cleared to race and selected for the UCI Road World Championships in Australia (September 18-25).

The Frenchman has won the elite men’s road race for the last two years and is hunting a third title but his participation was thrown into doubt when he crashed at the Vuelta a España earlier this month.

The rest of the French team will consist of Romain Bardet, Christophe Laporte, Valentin, Madouas, Quentin Pacher, Florian Sénéchal, Pavel Sivakov, Rémi Cavagna and Bruno Armirail. The latter two riders will contest the men’s individual time trial.

Also read: 2022 UCI Road World Championships preview: Your ultimate guide to the routes, riders, schedule

The selection of the French team means that David Gaudu, fourth in the Tour de France, Benoît Cosnefroy, the recent winner of the Grand Prix of Quebec, Arnaud Démare, Guillaume Martin, and Thibaut Pinot have all missed out on selection.

Alaphilippe was always in a race against time to prove his health and fitness following his crash at the Vuelta a España on August 31. He crashed hard on stage 11 of the race and was forced out with a dislocated shoulder. He was cleared to return to training on September 3 but there was still a huge question mark over his condition.

His Quick-Step team boss, Patrick Lefevere, called on the Frenchman to skip the world championships after he left the Vuelta.

“He wants to risk it, but I don’t think it’s that smart. If I had been him, I would have let the World Championships pass me by and put everything on the Italian races. But I understand the pressure of – what I will call – French politics. I don’t pay him to ride for the French team. Becoming world champion is nice, but I’d rather have him race in our jersey,” Lefevere told Sporza earlier this month.

Alaphilippe has had a disaster of a season when it comes to form and fitness. He crashed at Strade Bianche in March and then suffered from bronchitis, which forced him to miss another block of racing during the spring.

He crashed hard in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, hitting a tree and picking up several injuries, including two broken ribs and a fractured shoulder. The 30-year-old missed out on selection for the Tour de France in July due to his lack of racing and form but he did pick up a stage win at the Tour de Wallonie in late July before then contracting COVID-19.