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“My first goal is to finish my virus. At this moment I can train, but really slowly and not specific effort. It just takes time. At this moment I don't know when I'll start the season. Maybe in February, but we don't know....

Photo: Sirotti

JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE

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13.01.2016 @ 15:10 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After a red hot start to 2015, including a brilliant win on Mt Baldy in the Tour of California and second places in Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Julian Alaphilippe’s second half of the season was compromised by mononucleosis.

 

While he says he hasn’t fully recovered yet, he has been getting better and better, as he confirmed to Cyclingnews at Etixx-QuickStep’s latest training camp.

 

“The training camp has been OK. It is good for me and also for the team. I can train a little bit more than the first training camp, because my mononucleosis is better and better. But it's not really finished, so I take it step by step and I want to take my time.”

 

The 23 year old Frenchman admitted that training in the offseason has been very difficult due to his illness.

 

“It has been really difficult. After my break I needed to stay two-and-a-half months waiting with no training because I was really fatigued and really tired. This moment was really hard for my head and also my body because I couldn't train and I couldn't do anything. So now I'm really happy to be on the bike, but it's really, really slow.”

 

Because of the virus, he isn’t sure about where his season will start, but he is hoping he has recovered in time to be fully fit and firing on all cylinders for the Ardennes Classics.

 

“My first goal is to finish my virus and to start the real preparation. At this moment I can train, but really slowly and not specific effort. It just takes time. At this moment I don't know when I'll start the season. Maybe in February, but we don't know.”

 

“When you finish two times in the podium you want to come back and try to win. This year it's a little bit special after a bad winter, so maybe I can train and do some races before the Classics. I'll do my best and my maximum to be in good shape for the classics, but I don't know at this moment.”

 

After losing Michal Kwiatkowski to Sky, it looked like Alaphilippe would lead Etixx-QuickStep on his own, but the arrival of Dan Martin takes some pressure off the young man’s shoulders.

 

“It's really good news for the team, because all the pressure doesn't fall on me. It's also important to have two leaders, and a leader like Dan Martin is really good because he has a lot of experience and he knows very well all the Classics. It's also good for me for learning and getting experience with him. So it's really good to be with him.”

 

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