Deceuninck-QuickStep has confirmed that Julian Alaphilippe will not start stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse so he can get home in time for the birth of his first child with partner and former pro cyclist Marion Rousse.

The world champion’s early departure from the Swiss stage race was indicated before the start of Saturday’s stage, both by team boss Patrick Lefevere in his Het Nieuwsblad column, and by sports director Rick van Slycke. The news was confirmed after Alaphilippe finished a brilliant second place on the mountain time trial, propelling him into third overall.

Alaphilippe had never raced the Tour de Suisse before this year, usually favouring the Critérium du Dauphiné before heading to the Tour de France. Though he leaves Switzerland without a stage win, he comes away with a good week of results. Mathieu Van der Poel was his biggest rival in the first half of the race, but after the stage 7 time trial, it’s clear he’s on some blistering form in the lead-up to the Tour.


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