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Tour de France stage 7 report: Philipsen uncorks a hat trick in Bordeaux

Philipsen bests Cavendish on stage 7 of the Tour.

Jasper Philipsen celebrates his third win of the 2023 Tour de France on stage 7. Photo: Nico Vereecken/Vincent Kalut/PN/Cor Vos © 2023

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 07.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) sped to his third stage victory of the 2023 Tour de France on Friday’s stage 3, making a late surge to overtake Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) in Bordeaux.

The 25-year-old Belgian followed the leadout of Mathieu van der Poel in the finale until other sprint teams stormed to the front, with Cavendish sprinting into the lead with around 150 meters to go. Philipsen, however, was well positioned just behind, and when he launched, he powered into the lead and held on to take a convincing win. Cavendish settled for second with Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) taking third.

Although there was plenty of argy-bargy in the final moments of the race, the peloton made it through the finish without any crashes this time. All of the major GC hopefuls also finished safely, with Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) retaining the yellow jersey.

How it happened

Brief results:

  1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 3:46:28
  2. Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan)
  3. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty)
  4. Luca Mozzato (Arkéa-Samsic)
  5. Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AlUla) all @ same time

General classification:

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 29:57:12
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) @ :25
  3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) @ 1:34
  4. Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla) @ 3:14
  5. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) @ 3:30

Brief analysis

Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen earlier in the stage, possibly hatching their plan for sprint win number three. Photo © Nico Vereecken / Cor Vos

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There was some consternation about Philipsen’s sprint maneuvers on the day.

Astana boss Alexander Vinokourov was among those making his displeasure known.

Philipsen’s win stood nonetheless, putting him into some pretty impressive company …

What’s next: Stage 8 preview

Saturday’s stage 8 seems likely to see another fast finish, albeit of a different flavor, with some lumpy roads to put fatigue in the legs late in the day and then an uphill drag to the line in the final kilometer. It’s not terribly steep at an average gradient of 3.1%, but it’s enough to put the purer sprinters on the back foot. Wout van Aert, Girmay, and Caleb Ewan could be in the mix, while Alpecin-Deceuninck will have to decide whether this is a day for the more-versatile-than-you-might-think Philipsen, or for Mathieu van der Poel.

Quote of the day

If you told me this one week ago, I would have thought you were crazy. So far this is a dream Tour for us.

Jasper Philipsen after taking his third Tour sprint win so far this year

That the victory came ahead of Mark Cavendish, who is hunting a record-breaking 35th career Tour stage victory, was not lost on Philipsen, who counts himself among those hoping that Cavendish can make it happen at some point – even if the biggest obstacle for Cavendish to overcome right now seems to be Philipsen himself.

“He was really strong and I would love to see him win, I think everybody [would],” Philipsen said. “For sure he will keep on trying. It will be hard.”

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