Julian Alaphilippe returns to racing! Frenchman takes unusual alternative to Tour de France with eyes on Olympic Games

There are a few riders who are focusing on the Olympic Games specifically this summer and some do not see the Tour de France as fitting preparation. You could think of riders such as Filippo Ganna and Joshua Tarling, but Julian Alaphilippe is also taking an alternative preparation towards the Olympics.

In a video shared on social media ,the former World Champion reveals where he will race next: "I am very happy to announce that I will be back on the Tour of Slovakia. I have very good memories of my last participation and I hope to see you there."

In 2018 Alaphilippe raced the Slovakian race and went on to win stage 1 and also the overall classification. Soudal - Quick-Step are set to lineup for this event with Josef Cerny and home rider Martin Svrcek, as well as French sprinter Paul Magnier who will be aiming for stage wins.

The race takes place from the 26th to the 30th of June and will be the only major men's road race to take place in this, the week where the Tour de France begins. Alaphilippe won't be the only star at the start actually, as Peter Sagan will also headline the race, and the Frenchman will have a few opportunities to test his form in the hilly race.

After two rough years where he struggled to get victories at the highest level, the Soudal - Quick-Step rider managed to get a very popular win at the Giro d'Italia after a 125-kilometer long attack together with Mirco Maestri. His ever-aggressive attitude in the big races continues to play a role in his popularity. With the Olympic Games taking place in France this year (with a long and hilly circuit in Paris), there definitely will be a great deal of importance given to this race.

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