Julian Alaphilippe does some foreshadowing at Strade Bianche

Julian Alaphilippe (LaPresse)

Julian Alaphilippe, the Frenchman with the pain-in-the-arse surname, won Strade Bianche at his first attempt today. I guarantee you he’ll win a whole bunch of other stuff this season provided he doesn’t break anything important.

Earlier in the day, Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten won the women’s race.

Van Vleuten won the Women’s WorldTour last year, which is the overall season-long points thingy.

Her major wins included the Corsa Rosa, which is the big stage race in Italy, and La Course, which is the higher profile but shit tokenistic race in France. Then she became world time trial champion. Then she fractured her knee in the road race.

You’d think a fractured knee would put a cramp on a cyclist’s pre-season preparations. I’m generally useless for multiple days simply from doing sport, even when I don’t break any key joints.

What’s next?

The French early season one-place-to-another-place stage race, Paris-Nice, starts tomorrow (Sunday). The Italian early season one-place-to-another-place stage race, Tirreno-Adriatico, starts on Wednesday because I don’t know why, it just always starts on a Wednesday.