Jasper Philipsen pips Mark Cavendish to claim third stage win of Tour de France

Philipsen made it three wins from three sprint stages in a row

Ian Parker
Friday 07 July 2023 18:11 BST
Jasper Philipsen beat Mark Cavendish to the line in Bordeaux (Thibault Camus/AP)
Jasper Philipsen beat Mark Cavendish to the line in Bordeaux (Thibault Camus/AP) (AP)

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Louise Thomas

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Jasper Philipsen denied Mark Cavendish a record-breaking Tour de France victory on the line as the Belgian won stage seven on the line in Bordeaux.

Philipsen made it three wins from three sprint stages in a row in this Tour as he came around Cavendish in the final few metres, leaving the Manxman to curse as he rolled in second, still tied with Eddy Merckx on 34 career Tour wins.

The 38-year-old had come from well down in the pack to power his way down the right hand side and up to the front of the race, but Philipsen got onto his wheel and powered by, with Biniam Girmay in third.

The sprint finish to the 170km stage from Mont-de-Marsan meant no major changes at the top of the general classification, in which defending champion Jonas Vingegaard leads from Tadej Pogacar.

But all eyes had been on the sprinters, with Cavendish hoping to make more Tour history 16 years to the day since he made his debut in the race in London on 2007.

The Astana-Qazaqstan rider was several places down in the pack as they negotiated a tight and twisty approach to the long finishing straight but moved up well and looked to have the speed he needed as he found a path down the right hand side to reach the front, only to see Philipsen come past at the last.

Philipsen said: “I think we can’t be proud enough on our team achievement. Without them it would never be possible to get the third stage win already. I’m just really proud of them and how we worked together, how we found each other in the final.

“That leads to success and I’m super happy and proud…I never had to do a big effort before I could launch my sprint and that’s how we win.

“If you told me (three stage wins) one week ago I’d think you were crazy. So far it’s a dream Tour for us and hopefully we can add another one.

“(Cavendish) was really strong. I would also have loved to see him win, I think everybody would, but I’m sure he will keep on trying. He’s up there, in good condition, and it will be hard.”

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