Thursday, June 1, 2023

“Everyone must justify their salary”: Patrick Lefevere still very virulent towards Julian Alaphilippe, justified criticism?

In France, Julian Alaphilippe is an idol for many young cyclists and the general public thanks to his performance and his attitude on the bike. Double world champion, winner of stages on the Tour de France and wearer of the Yellow Jersey on several occasions, the Frenchman is also a triple winner of the Flèche Wallonne, winner of Milan San Remo etc… But for two years, the rider has been affected by bad luck. Seriously injured last year after a violent fall on Liège Bastogne Liège, Julian Alaphilippe is slow to regain his level and his start to the 2023 season is once again the perfect example, even if bad luck still touches him with a fall on the Tour des Flandres and a knee injury that keeps him off the roads.

But for his manager Patrick Lefevere, if there is indeed a share of bad luck “I must not hide that mentally for him it is difficult each time to go back up, to train, to regain morale”, Julian Alaphilippe is not not really on the level and apart from his double title of world champion, he does not seem to bring much to the team. On the contrary, the Belgian once again emphasizes the high salary of “champion” that Julian Alaphilippe receives and which is no longer necessarily justified as he explained at the microphone of RMC Sport on Monday April 17. “I learned a very beautiful expression in French: “in life everyone must justify their salary”. The salary he has for three seasons until 2024. Fortunately, we can say that he has become twice world champion. Apart from that he won the first stage of the Tour and the yellow jersey. I understand that the French teams are excited about that, but not me.”

A strained relationship?

Also during this long interview, Patrick Lefevere talks about a professional relationship, nothing more, even if the manager admits that we can only love Julian Alaphilippe. “I’m CEO (…) If with all these people, I still have to hug the riders personally, I don’t think it’s a good thing. From time to time I talk to him, like in October on the training camp. training, before or after a race, but not on a daily basis. I like him, like everyone else. How can you not like Julian? But I have to be realistic he eats a big part of my budget and I want when even also results.”


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