Tour de France stage 3 report: Philipsen fastest to the finish in first sprint showdown

There were no surprises on the first sprint stage of the 2023 Tour de France.

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) sprints to victory on stage 3 of the 2023 Tour de France. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 03.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The first sprint stage of the Tour de France was a formulaic affair with a two-man breakaway going clear in the first few hundred metres. 193 km later – moving from the Basque Country and into France along the way – the peloton arrived in Bayonne for the first bunch sprint of the Tour de France, won by Jasper Philipsen after a confident performance from Alpecin-Deceuninck.

How it happened:

Brief results:

  1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  2. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious)
  3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny)
  4. Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step)
  5. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)

General Classification:

  1. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates)
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +6s
  3. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) “
  4. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) +12s
  5. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +16s

A textbook ‘transition stage’ from the very start.

“Turn to page 394 in your Tour de France textbook, please, and quiet at the back!”

Brief analysis:

Neilson Powless took a leaf out of his teammate Magnus Cort’s book (vol. 2022) in his second consecutive Grand Depart breakaway effort.

EF ? Grand Depart KOM

What’s next: stage 4 preview

The second in a pair of flat-ish days, stage 4 from Dax to Nogaro ought to be another chance for the sprinters. With the Pyrenees on the horizon, the peloton will be eager to keep things under control on the slightly rolling roads – there are only three stages with less elevation, including stage 21 to Paris and stage 16’s 22.4 km ITT. The fast finish on the Nogaro motor racing circuit should add some spice to the finale, with an 800-metre straight to the line offering up a textbook bunch gallop.

Quote of the day:

Philipsen had plenty of time to catch his breath before giving his interview post-stage, but once he’d had victory confirmed, he was only too happy to offer his teammates the praise they deserved after a long day.

It was tense, but it’s the Tour de France, there are no presents to nobody, so I think everybody goes all in. I think I can be really happy with our team performance today. We had a great lead-out. Jonas [Rickaert] did the first part and then Mathieu did a great job, and I’m really happy to keep it to the finish line.

He was asked specifically about Van der Poel’s sheer power in the leadout, after which Philipsen had to navigate the curved sprint to the line; this is where his sprinting line came under scrutiny, but the conclusion drawn was that the barriers deviated more than he did.

Yeah, it’s amazing. If he has the space to go, then for sure he has the speed, and you just know that no other leadout will pass him. It was a tricky final with the S-bend in the end, so I tried to take the shortest road to the finish, and I’m really happy to get first over the line.

Best of social media

The Tour left the Basque Country towards the end of stage 3, but not before more magnificent vistas along the coast.

With the KOM hunt done and dusted, Powless dropped back to the peloton for a bit of a breather, but not before a customary ‘salut’ to Pichon.

From Basque flags to…

Further reading

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