Motivation to make a speedy comeback after surgery doesn’t get better than receiving your very own custom-painted “Get well soon” bike.
After the focus of his season – the Ardennes classics and the Tour de France – was destroyed by a knee injury, French star Julian Alaphilippe would have been forgiven if he felt like a forgotten man as the peloton rolled on.
Not any more. The Quick-Step Floors puncheur recently took delivery of a custom-painted LTD edition S-Works Tarmac designed to remind him during the long, lonely hours of rehab that great things surely lie ahead.
“I have to say I am a bit upset at what happened earlier this season that made me skip my favourite races this year,” admits Alaphilippe. “But now I cannot wait to start training again and be ready for the next goals. Receiving this super-cool bike from Specialized definitely gives me more morale. It’s always nice to get something special, something made just for you. I really appreciate it. It's nice to have a big family around you for support: not just my amazing team, but also a sponsor who believes in us. I will now do my best to come back stronger and pay everybody back.”
Alaphilippe picked up a pre-patellar lesion on Stage 5 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco back in April, and when conservative treatment failed to yield the desired results, he went under the knife in May.
Despite a super-fast start to the season – winning the white and green jerseys at Paris–Nice, and finishing third in his debut at Milan-Sanremo – Alaphilippe’s main goals of the year were the northern Classics which suit his punchy power and la Grand Boucle on home soil. That all went up in smoke, and Alaphilippe now faces a long road back to top form.
But life goes on, and part of re-calibrating his aims for the second half of the season included working with Specialized’s lead road designer Ron Jones on a classy and inspirational paint job for his new bike.
“We went with a distressed French flag graphic in combination with a red-to-blue colour-shifting flake that changes colour based on the angle of viewing,” explains Jones. “It should make the bike look very dynamic, much like how Julian is as a rider. We also included a graphic on the downtube which denotes his 2016 Tour of California victory, which is his biggest win to date. The rest of the graphics follow the form of the bike frame, accentuating the industrial design and adding a touch of class.”
Now, every time he looks at his new bike, Alaphilippe can forget the disappointment and be reminded of the rest of the message from Team Specialized that didn’t need saying…..Get well soon, and see you at the races!”
Photo Courtesy of @alafpolak Instagram