Tour de France: Jasper Philipsen narrowly beats Cavendish in Bordeaux on stage 7

Green jersey holder wins his third stage of the race, as Cavendish gets closer

Clock16:00, Friday 7th July 2023
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) beats a crestfallen Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) to win stage 7 of the Tour de France

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) beats a crestfallen Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) to win stage 7 of the Tour de France

It was close but no cigar for a fairytale victory by Mark Cavendish on stage 7 of the Tour de France, with the Astana-Qazaqstan sprinter being passed only 50m from the line by eventual stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck). The Belgian enjoyed a faultless lead-out by Mathieu van der Poel and pounced to take his third stage victory.

Despite Jumbo-Visma driving the pace in the bunch, their sprinter Wout van Aert was nowhere to be seen and it was Philipsen’s Alpecin-Deceuninck who produced the perfect lead-out. For a short while it looked as though Cavendish may produce an upset, coming from nowhere on the right-hand side of the road and seeing daylight between himself and the line.

But it was not to be the day that Cavendish would take a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage victory, as the Manxman looked besieged by a small mechanical that forced him to sit down momentarily in the sprint and allowed the Belgian to take advantage, beating Cavendish and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) into second and third.

“If you told me [I’d have won three stages] one week ago, I would think you were crazy,” laughed Philipsen at the finish. “But so far it is the dream Tour for us, so we continue and hopefully we can add another one. But I think from now on, I’m looking to Paris also.”

“[Cavendish] was really strong and I would also have loved to see him win - a bit like everybody,” Philipsen added. But for Cavendish, the fairytale will have to win for another day.

The stage itself had been another quiet affair, with Arkéa-Samsic’s Simon Guglielmi being subjected to 92km alone as the only man in the breakaway, before being joined by Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën) and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) after the intermediate sprint. Guglielmi found solace in his compatriots before dropping back to the peloton and allowing the bunch to engulf Peters and Latour in advance of the sprint finish.

Racing recap

After a brutal couple of days in the Pyrenees that had seen two new yellow jerseys emerge and the GC completely reshuffled, the peloton were looking forward to a gentler day in the saddle when they departed Mont-de-Marsan on Friday morning. Only one small climb was to interrupt an otherwise flat afternoon, promising a sprint finish as the race concluded in Bordeaux for the first time since 2010.

The first attacks of the day came immediately after the gun at KM0, with Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Pro Cycling) and Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) being allowed off the leash by the peloton.

Given the ease at which they went clear, all four riders immediately appeared hesitant and both Abrahamsen and Oliveira knocked off their efforts to return to the bunch, soon to be joined by Bergaudeau, leaving Guglielmi to press on alone 166km from the finish.

Whilst Movistar, Uno-X and TotalEnergies called their riders back to the bunch, Arkéa-Samsic were not as generous as, directing Guglielmi to carry on his effort and spend the afternoon displaying their red jersey to the watching world. As for the peloton, they were more than content to enjoy a relaxed traverse towards Bordeaux, allowing Guglielmi a lead of over seven minutes at its maximum.

Guglielmi was first across the line at the intermediate sprint in Grignols, but all eyes were on the sprint for the secondary points, where Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) finished ahead of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe).

AG2R Citroën and TotalEnergies suddenly spurred into action following the intermediate sprint, with Nans Peters and Pierre Latour setting off up the road in a surprising breakaway. At this point the gap between the peloton and Guglielmi had reduced to a minute, allowing the French trio to unite at the front with 74km to ride.

Guglielmi’s long day out was brought to an end by the battle for the only mountains classification points of the day, which saw the most combative rider dropped to the peloton as Latour beat Peters to the maximum points. The duo were caught well in advance of the finish and the stage was set for a blockbuster sprint as Jumbo-Visma drove the pace.

The run to the flamme rouge was dominated by Philipsen’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team, who delivered the perfect lead-out, setting up for the last push from Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutchman unleashed a monstrous final turn for the Philipsen, who was almost usurped by a galloping Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) who was in search of making history.

On the 14th anniversary of his Tour de France debut and 14 years since he won the Tour’s final stage finish in Bordeaux, Cavendish briefly looked set to produce a fairytale 35th stage victory to break the record he holds alongside Eddy Merckx - but it was not to be.

Owing to a slipped gear, the Manxman sat down with 50m to go and was rounded by the seemingly unstoppable Philipsen, with Cavendish finishing second and Girmay completing the podium. Philipsen extends his lead in the green jersey competition to 88 points, taking his third stage of the race and setting his eyes on holding the jersey until Paris.

We’ll be showing live and on-demand coverage of all 21 stages of this year’s Tour de France from Saturday, July 1 to Sunday, July 23. Head over to GCN+ now to check the start times of each broadcast so that you don’t miss out on a moment of the action! As always, territory restrictions will apply.

Race Results

1

be flag

PHILIPSEN Jasper

Alpecin-Deceuninck

3H 46' 28"

2

gb flag

CAVENDISH Mark

Astana Qazaqstan Team

"

3

er flag

GIRMAY Biniam

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty

"

4

it flag

MOZZATO Luca

Team Arkéa-Samsic

"

5

nl flag

GROENEWEGEN Dylan

Team Jayco-AlUla

"

6

be flag

MEEUS Jordi

BORA-hansgrohe

"

7

de flag

BAUHAUS Phil

Bahrain Victorious

"

8

fr flag

COQUARD Bryan

Cofidis

"

9

no flag

KRISTOFF Alexander

Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

"

10

dk flag

PEDERSEN Mads

Lidl-Trek

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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