(Bordeaux) Not so long ago, Jasper Philipsen was nicknamed Jasper Disaster.
In the space of a week at the Tour de France, he transformed into Jasper The Master, relentlessly dominating the sprints.
The Belgian thus won a group sprint in Bordeaux to claim a third stage victory this year at the Tour de France, while the reigning champion of the event, Jonas Vingegaard, retained the yellow jersey of leader.
Philipsen clung to the wheel of Alpecin-Deceuninck teammate Mathieu van der Poel before deftly repelling an attack from veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish.
Philipsen has won every sprint so far this year, and he now has five career stage wins at the Grande Boucle. He also won two stages last year.
Biniam Girmay completed the podium.
“If you had told me that a week ago I would have called you crazy, but so far it’s been a dream for us, a dream Tour, and we just want to take advantage of the pace we’ve gotten and continue in this management,” Philipsen said. I believe that from now on, I can start dreaming of Paris, yes. »
Philipsen received his nickname from Alexander Kristoff, when they ran together, since he caused many falls.
“At the time he was a bit clumsy. And he forgot several things too, noted Kristoff in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws. Then he lost his sunglasses, misplaced his toilet bag, and even his shoes. He was the cause of many disasters; it was a disaster. This nickname was only a joke, not an insult. »
Philipsen made no mistake when Cavendish moved up to the front of the pack as the sprint approached. He calmly clung to his wheel and eventually passed it to prevent the so-called Manx Missile from claiming a 35th career stage victory – which would be a record.
Cavendish had equaled Eddy Merckx’s mark of 34 stage victories during the Grande Boucle in 2021, 13 years after his first triumph. Cavendish, who has never won the Tour de France, unlike Merckx, will announce his retirement at the end of the campaign.
“He [Cavendish] was very powerful, and I wish he had won too, like everyone else I think,” Philipsen said. He is among the best, and he is in very good physical condition. »
There was no movement at the top of the general classification: Vingegaard still has a cushion of 25 seconds ahead of Slovenian Tadej Pogačar, two-time Tour de France champion. Jai Hindley remained in third place, 1 minute and 34 seconds behind the yellow jersey.
For his part, Quebecer Guillaume Boivin stood out by finishing 35th in the main peloton. His Israel-Premier Tech teammates, Ontarian Michael Woods and Quebecer Hugo Houle, followed at 71st and 78th respectively.
In the cumulative standings, Woods is still the best representative of the Maple Leaf by virtue of his 32nd place, 24:32 behind Vingegaard. Houle and Boivin are 65th and 124th, in order.
The eighth stage which will take place on Saturday will link Libourne to Limoges, in the heart of France. There could be a breakaway, and this could set the stage for another chapter in the fight between Pogačar and Vingegaard on Sunday, during the ascent of the Puy de Dôme.
1. Jasper Philipsen (BEL/ADC) 169.9 km in 3 h 46 min 28 s (average: 45.1 km/h)2 Mark Cavendish (GBR/AST) 0 s3 Biniam Girmay (ERI/ICW) 0 s4 Luca Mozzato (ITA/ARK) 0 s5 Dylan Groenewegen (NED/JAY) 0 s6 Jordi Meeus (BEL/BOH) 0 s7 Phil Bauhaus (GER/TBV) 0 s8 Bryan Coquard (FRA/COF) 0 s9. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/UXT) 0 s10. Mads Pedersen (DEN/LTK) 0 s… 35. Guillaume Boivin (CAN/IPT) 0 s7 Hugo Houle (CAN/IPT) 15 s7 Michael Woods (CAN/IPT) 15 s
1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN/TJV) 29 h 57 min 12 s2 Tadej Pogačar (SLO/UAD) at 25 seconds3 Jai Hindley (AUS/BOH) 1 min 34 s4 Simon Yates (GBR/JAY) 3 min 14 s5 Carlos Rodriguez (ESP/IGD) 3 min 30 s6 Adam Yates (GBR/UAD) 3 mins 40 s7 David Gaudu (FRA/GFC) 4 min 03 s8 Romain Bardet (FRA/DSM) 4 min 43 s9 Thomas Pidcock (GBR/IGD) 4 mins 43 s1 Sepp Kuss (USA/TJV) 5 min 28 s… 32. Michael Woods (CAN/IPT) 24 min 32 s6 Hugo Houle (CAN/IPT) 52 mins 15 s1 Guillaume Boivin (CAN/IPT) 1 h 25 min 15 s