photo credits @ ASO
Jasper Philipsen continued his winning ways in this year’s Tour de France, after the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider claimed stage 7 today, denying Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) his 35th Tour stage win by a bike length.
The British rider opened his sprint too early, quickly finding himself no match to the acceleration of his Belgian rival.
“I think we can be proud of our team achievement. Without them it would never be possible to get this third stage win already,” Philipsen said. “I’m just really proud of how they worked already and how we found each other in the final to do everything that we can to lead to success, I’m super happy and proud.”
He acknowledged the challenge from Cavendish, who had the speed but perhaps not the timing to take a historic win.
“Cavendish was really strong, I would also love to see him win, like everybody,” Philipsen said. “For sure he will keep on trying. He’s up there and in good condition so it will be hard.”
Meanwhile, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) also missed out on making history for Eritrea, after finishing third.
The 169.9 kilometer stage took riders north from Mont-de-Marsan to Bordeaux in the south-west of the country and a bunch sprint was widely predicted ahead of the stage.
Arkéa-Samsic’s Simon Gugliemi instigated an early break, with a handful of riders later joining him. Yet, despite all of his fellow breakaway companions getting reined in, the French rider remained out front, at one point building up a gap of more than seven minutes over the peloton.
After Grimay won the intermediate sprint, Gugliemi was joined by compatriots Nans Peters (AG2R-Citroën) and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies).
After dropping Gugliemi with around 35 kilometers to go, Peters and Latour stayed out front until they were reeled in during the final kilometers.
Jumbo-Visma could have pulled off after the safety mark of 3.6 kilometers to go, but the Dutch squad decided to keep Jonas Vingegaard at the front until the road straightened out, with Alpecin-Deceuninck and other teams drawing out their respective sprinters to contest the finale.
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