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Alaphilippe to skip Tour to focus on Giro stage wins

Six-time stage winner Julian Alaphilippe said Wednesday he will skip this year’s Tour de France to concentrate on his debut in the Giro d’Italia.

The 31-year-old two-time world champion, who has donned the race leader’s yellow jersey for 18 days on the Tour, said he would target Giro stage wins rather than help Soudal-Quick Step team leader Remco Evenepoel around France.

“It’s not a non-selection and it’s not at all a punishment,” Alaphilippe insisted. “Doing the Giro has been in my head for a little time.”

Alaphilippe added: “Between (the Tour Down Under in) Australia, the classics and the Giro, I wanted a change.

“It’s always particular to miss the Tour, but I am so happy with my goals, with a possible participation in the Paris Olympics in mind.

“It’s a very complete season, you have to make choices and stick to them.”

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