CYCLING: The Belgian, Jasper Philipsen from the Alpecin team won the sprint in Bayonne during the 3rd stage of the Tour
- The 3rd stage of the Tour de France was won in the sprint on Monday by Jasper Philipsen.
- The Belgian rider thus won his third victory on the Tour de France, after his successes in Carcassonne and on the Champs-Elysées last year.
- Mathieu Van der Poel’s teammate is gradually establishing himself as the best finisher in the peloton.
Like any good self-respecting sprinter, Jasper Philipsen is the type to like straight lines. So the emotional roller coaster that followed the end of the 3rd stage of the Tour de France on Monday would have gone well. Faster than everyone else in the tortuous Bayonne final, the Belgian from the Alpecin team thought he saw victory taken away from him for a limited duel with Wout van Aert along the barriers, while a curve towards the line was emerging 200 metres from the line. But after about twenty minutes of dithering, the stewards ended up confirming its success.
“It’s a bit tough when the home straight is a curve. I just tried to take the shortest line, as we always do, so I don’t think I made a mistake, ”reacted the Belgian just after the release. This big scare passed, he was able to savour this victory which undoubtedly makes him the best sprinter of the moment. And maybe for a while.
Because Jasper Philipsen has established himself since last season as the number 1 finisher in the peloton when it really matters. On the 2022 Tour, he had experienced the ultimate frustration, that of having tasted victory for a few seconds during the 4th stage, before he was told that a plane named Wout van Aert had actually passed the line two minutes before. He ended up laughing about it, before taking revenge by raising his arms, for good this time, in Carcassonne. And to finish in apotheosis by winning on the Champs-Elysées.
A train from hell
So here he is with three victories on the Tour, obviously still far from the 34 of Mark Cavendish, or the 12 of Mario Cipollini, Erik Zabel or Peter Sagan, but at 25, he arrives in his best years. Able to adapt to all terrains, as evidenced by his second place in Paris-Roubaix in April, he can above all count on a team that knows how to do it. Having a tractor like Mathieu Van der Poel that puts you in an armchair 150 meters from the line helps to win races.
“I’m really happy with the team’s performance, with a great pilot fish like Mathieu. He did a fantastic job, he praised me after the finish. If he just has a small space, he is able to go there with speed, nobody can do that. It’s true that it took at least the skill and power of Dutch off-roading to navigate an ultra-tight peloton for this first sprint finish, after two stages for punchers. “It rubbed a lot in the final, frankly when it happens like that at 70 an hour with small bumps and turns, it’s not for me”, blew Bryan Coquard, 10th on the line, afterwards.
Philipsen, enjoyed himself. And can hope to double the bet on Tuesday, in Nogaro. Watch out though for Wout van Aert, who we saw again quite upset after getting stuck (or being stuck…) a few meters from the goal. Last year, the Belgian had accumulated frustration for three days before scattering everyone in the final of the 4th stage towards Calais. The battle between the two Belgians still promises great episodes. And as on Netflix, “Jasper the Disaster” intends to be the hero.