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Julian Alaphilippe promises more at Tirreno-Adriatico: ‘It could have been worse’

Despite being involved in one of cycling's most spectacular crashes just 48 hours before, the two-time world champion finished the opening time trial.

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LIDO DI CAMAIORE, Italy (VN) — World champion Julian Alaphilippe will ride on this week at Tirreno-Adriatico despite the brutal crash he suffered at Strade Bianche.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl star zipped up into his road race world champion’s jacket after finishing Monday’s individual time trial, telling journalists at the line he’s feeling better than expected considering his dramatic spill in the Italian classic barely 48 hours earlier.

Also read: Julian Alaphilippe recounts details of horrific crash in Strade Bianche

The French star erased any doubts about whether or not he’d be able to start Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday, riding safely in the out and back 13.9km time trial.

“I felt pretty good. Despite the crash, I could take the start, though I have some bruises,” Alaphilippe said at the line. “I recovered yesterday and today I gave the maximum. Maybe it wasn’t the best performance but it could have been worse. We’ll take it day by day this week.”

Alaphilippe was one of the five-star favorites Saturday at Strade Bianche when he was caught up in one of the most spectacular crashes in recent cycling history when a heavy gust slammed into the peloton.

The wind pushed Alpecin-Fenix rider Stefano Oldini into Alaphilippe’s line, causing the French world champion to somersault over his handlebars.

Unlike others involved in the crash, Alaphillipe was able to resume the chase and regained contact with the front group. He fell flat when Tadej Pogačar hit the turbos on his race-winning acceleration, but rode to the line, riding on pride with the rainbow jersey on his bike as he stormed into Piazza del Campo.

On Sunday, Alaphilippe recovered and rested from the hard effort, and was able to take the start Monday in the short but intense time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico without too much pain.

“I don’t feel too bad,” Alaphilippe said Monday. “I am optimistic, because the crash could have been a lot worse. I am still here, and I will do what I can, but it’s not going to be easy.”

This week, Alaphilippe will be riding to support Mark Cavendish in the sprints, and Remco Evenepoel in the overall. And if he’s feeling better, Alaphilippe assured everyone he will make a run for a stage.

“This week, we have a strong team. We have Cavendish for the sprints, and Remco for the GC,” Alaphilippe said. “Tomorrow is a sprint so hopefully I can feel even better later this week. I’ll give everything for the team, and let’s see if the legs feel good I can try something, too.”