Winning the Tour de France would be “totally different” and “something else” from leading the race for a week, says Julian Alaphilippe.
Julian Alaphilippe declared his start to the Tour de France as beyond anything he could have imagined – but also knows he is still a long way from glory.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider leads the General Classification by one minute and 12 seconds through 10 stages, reaching the first rest day in possession of the yellow jersey.
Alaphilippe, addressing the media on Tuesday, suggested continued success is “just a bonus” but he hopes to still be in pole position heading onto the Champs-Elysees.
“I wanted to do well and I still had something in mind about this first part of the Tour and a few stages,” he said.
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) July 16, 2019
“After that, when I look at the last 10 days, it’s beyond what I could have imagined. Now it’s just a bonus.
“Just yesterday [in stage 10], I had fun, it was a great stage, there was action in the final, it’s really the race I love.
“The hardest part is still to come, actually. What I have realised is beyond what I had imagined, so I almost want to say that my Tour is already successful, it’s already incredible.
“But to win the Tour is totally different. You shouldn’t confuse wearing the yellow jersey for a week with wearing it on the Champs-Elysees, on the podium in Paris. That’s something else.”