Julian Alaphilippe will not make the pass of two. Winner last year of Milan-San Remo, the French did not go far from winning again on the Monument which traditionally launches the season, this time played in August, due to a health crisis. Author of an attack in the Poggio, the ultimate difficulty of the Italian race, the puncher of the Deceuninck- Quick Step was beaten in the sprint in the home stretch of the day, the via Roma, by the man in form of this recovery : Belgian Wout Van Aert.
Already winner of the Strade Bianche a week ago, the one who had been forced to retire on the last Tour de France after a heavy fall in the time trial, won at 25 the first Monument of his career. Slightly left behind by Alaphilippe in the Poggio, the Jumbo-Visma rider took advantage of the descent to catch up with the Frenchman before settling him in the sprint, just ahead of what was left of the peloton dominated by Australian Michael Matthews (Sunweb) , third.
“The strongest won”
“I’m very happy, I can’t believe I managed to win these two races in a row,” explains the Belgian rider. On Alaphilippe’s attack, I only thought of holding out. Julian played the blow very well, he put me in front (Editor’s note: in the descent). It was hard to stay focused and go through with it. “
“He accompanied me in the Poggio, I saw immediately that I could not tell the difference, admitted Julian Alaphilippe, a time behind in the race after having a puncture. The strongest won today. “