Tour de France stage 4 report: Philipsen bests Ewan to make it two straight victories

"Jasper Disaster" takes his fourth career Tour stage win in a crash-marred finale in Nogaro.

Jasper Philipsen bests Caleb Ewan on stage 4 of the Tour de France. Photo: Nico Vereecken/PN/Cor Vos © 2023

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 04.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) sprinted to his second straight stage victory at the Tour de France on Tuesday, winning a crash-marred stage 4 on the Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro.

Although the peloton took its time traveling the 181.8 km from Dax, the speed ramped up considerably in the finale, and as the sprint teams navigated one corner after another in a tricky finale, riders hit the deck in at least three separate crashes. Philipsen avoided the carnage, however, and his Alpecin-Deceuninck teammate Mathieu van der Poel took a big pull to set him up with some 250 meters to go, and then Philipsen launched and quickly surged into the lead.

Lotto-Dstny’s Caleb Ewan made a late push to close Philipsen down but the Belgian held on to take the win, his fourth ever at the Tour and his second in as many days. He now has a hefty advantage in the points classification as well. Ewan settled for second with Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) in third.

Despite all the crashes, the big GC favorites avoided mishaps in the finale. Adam Yates remains in the overall lead after four stages.

How it happened

Brief results:

  1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny)
  3. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious)
  4. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis)
  5. Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) all at same time

General classification:

  1. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates)
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +6s
  3. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) at same time
  4. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) +12s
  5. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +16s
The view from the finish line summed up the hectic finale, where several riders crashed but Jasper Philipsen navigated things to perfection. Photo: Nico Vereecken/PN/Cor Vos © 2023

Brief analysis

Getting into the break on a stage like Tuesday’s is a pretty thankless job, so we’ll feature a photo of Benoit Cosnefroy and Anthony Delaplace to show our gratitude to the breakaway riders who never had a chance. Photo: Szymon Gruchalski/Cor Vos © 2023

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With not much going on for several hours and the mountains on the horizon, it seemed like a good day for a nap.

What’s next: Stage 5 preview

After two days for the sprinters, the climbers will like what’s coming on stage 5 from Pau to Laruns. As the race heads into the Pyrenees, riders will take on the first hors categorie climb of the Tour midway through the stage, the Col du Soudet. The third-category Col d’Ichère will then be an appetizer for the first-category final climb, the Col de Marie Blanque. The stage doesn’t finish there, however, with a descent and then a flat run to the line. All told, it will be a fine day to get into the break, as it will be a tricky stage to control. It could also be a day for the GC hopefuls to put time into each other.

Quote of the day

Philipsen was understandably grateful to have made it through the chaos on stage 4, and he pointed out that it was a narrow-run thing in the end that he was able to contest the sprint and ultimately win it.

“In the final kilometer entering the circuit, I also heard some crashes around me. I hope everybody is OK and safe. It was a bit of a hectic finale with the turns in the end. I lost my team as well but in the final straight I found Mathieu van der Poel again. He did an amazing pull to get me to victory, but my legs were cramping and Caleb was coming close.”

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