Julian Alaphilippe on road to recovery: ‘The option of the Tour de France is still open’

Double world champion back in the saddle after horror Liège crash and training with teammates atop Sierra Nevada.

Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images

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Julian Alaphilippe is back in the saddle and dreaming of the Tour de France.

The double world champion confirmed via a team release Tuesday he’s back on the bike after a crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège that left him with two broken ribs, a broken scapula, and a hemo pneumothorax.

“The good news was that my lung had completely recovered, which I was of course very happy about,” Alaphilippe said. “The broken bones were still painful, which is completely normal as these injuries take more time to recover, but I was advised that I was OK to start training.”

A mass crash at Liège last month saw Alaphilippe catapulted into a tree at high speed.

Rival racer Romain Bardet was so concerned he scrambled to Alaphillipe’s aide and was shocked at his countryman’s condition in what was his second high-profile crash in two months after he was sent somersaulting over his bars at Strade Bianche.

Also read: Bardet: ‘Alaphilippe couldn’t move, he couldn’t breathe’ following Liège crash

Alaphilippe is now looking to cast aside a string of spring setbacks. He wasted no time in joining his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates in Sierra Nevada as he makes a tentative return to training.

“Every day I am improving, and I hope to continue like this. My injuries just need time, so there is no need to have any intervention or surgery,” he said.

With less than six weeks until the Tour de France’s grand dèpart, Alaphilippe is already considering whether he can book a ticket to Copenhagen.

“I am trying to be an optimist, but I know I need to take my time and to see how the training is going,” he said.

“If everything continues as it is, then the option of the Tour de France is still open, which is still in my mind, but it is really important that we do not rush anything and we continue to be patient, keep talking with the medical team and take their advice before we decide when I can race again.”

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