Tour de France: Jasper Philipsen continues sprint dominance with stage 11 victory

GC riders stay out of trouble as Belgian takes his fourth win

Clock16:00, Wednesday 12th July 2023
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) celebrates his fourth stage win at the 2023 Tour de France

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) celebrates his fourth stage win at the 2023 Tour de France

All four of the sprint stages at this year’s Tour de France have now been won by Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) after the green jersey powered to yet another victory in Moulins on Wednesday.

Despite missing his usual last man Mathieu van der Poel in the final kilometres, Philipsen was able to benefit from the work of teammate Jonas Rickaert on the front whilst he surfed wheels in the bunch, eventually launching off the wheel of Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AlUla) to take the win.

Groenewegen held on for second place, his best result so far, whilst Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) finished third.

“It’s an incredible Tour so far,” Philipsen said at the finish.

“I can’t realise how good it’s all going. Just super proud and really happy with my shape. And also, to get through the final without problems is also a big challenge and we’ve managed to do it already four times in a row. Super happy.”

Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies), Matis Louvel (Arkéa Samsic) and Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost) formed the day’s breakaway, with Louvel and Amador dropping back to the peloton at 50km to go whilst Oss pushed on solo, and was eventually caught with 13km to go.

Destined sprint finish

After the dramatic fight for the breakaway on stage 10, it was the polar opposite at the start of stage 11, with less interest to be in what would likely be a doomed move heading towards the sprint in Moulins. After a couple of tentative attempts, with Alpecin-Deceuninck policing who was allowed up the road and who wasn’t, a group of three went away after just 4km.

Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost) had been keen to get in the move from the very start, and he was joined by Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies) and Matis Louvel (Arkéa Samsic) in what would be the day’s breakaway. They quickly built up a lead as the likes of Alpecin and Lidl-Trek slowed things on the front of the peloton and made sure no more riders would be joining the leaders.

Following such an intense day on stage 10, and before a challenging weekend of climbing, the peloton were happy to take most of the stage fairly easy on Wednesday, and the middle of the stage was characterised by very little. Alpecin-Deceuninck, Lotto Dstny and Soudal-QuickStep were controlling things at the front, keeping the three leaders within a reasonable distance.

After 70km of racing, the peloton spurred into action to contest the intermediate sprint, where Jasper Philipsen picked up fourth place ahead of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) to add some more points to his lead in the classification.

Going into the final 90km of the stage, the gap to the leaders started shrinking perhaps earlier than expected, quickly falling below a minute as the teams started riding harder on the front of the peloton. With 70km remaining, it started to rain, which added some tension in the bunch.

With 57km to go, the peloton hit an exposed section which threatened crosswinds, and this saw some very aggressive racing as UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma tried to mitigate against any risk, but in the end there was no echelon action to speak of. However, this acceleration saw the break pulled even close, with Louvel the first to drop back to the bunch, followed by Amador, whilst Oss pushed on solo.

Despite still being over an hour away from the finish, the fight for positioning was already on at the front of the bunch, with both Alpecin-Deceuninck and Soudal-QuickStep bringing their sprinters to the fore, although they weren’t really chasing yet with Oss still 45 seconds up the road.

13km from Moulins, Oss was finally caught and the peloton started winding up for the sprint, with Soudal-QuickStep taking the lead. The technical run-in, scattered with turns and roundabouts, made for a hectic finale with several teams falling foul of taking the wrong position on the road and many riders finding themselves isolated.

Going into the last kilometre, Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was on the front but without Philipsen on his wheel, who was riding the wheels behind. With 500m to go, Luka Mezgec was leading out Dylan Groenewegen down the centre of the road and looked to be in the best position, but towards the line Philipsen was able to launch his sprint off of Groenewegen’s wheel and pull clear to win by over a bike length ahead of Groenewegen and Phil Bauhaus.

The sprint group finished seven seconds ahead of the rest of the peloton, where yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) led the group over the line alongside Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), meaning no changes on the GC. Philipsen’s win sees him extend his lead in the green jersey standings, now 150 points clear of Bryan Coquard.

Race Results

1

be flag

PHILIPSEN Jasper

Alpecin-Deceuninck

4H 01' 07"

2

nl flag

GROENEWEGEN Dylan

Team Jayco-AlUla

"

3

de flag

BAUHAUS Phil

Bahrain Victorious

"

4

fr flag

COQUARD Bryan

Cofidis

"

5

dk flag

PEDERSEN Mads

Lidl-Trek

"

6

no flag

KRISTOFF Alexander

Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

"

7

it flag

MOZZATO Luca

Team Arkéa-Samsic

"

8

sk flag

SAGAN Peter

TotalEnergies

"

9

be flag

VAN AERT Wout

Jumbo-Visma

"

10

au flag

WELSFORD Sam

Team dsm-firmenich

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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