Philipsen Benefits from Mathieu van der Poel World-Class Performance at Tour de France

news 05-Jul-2023 Sport

Philipsen Benefits from Mathieu van der Poel's World-Class Performance at Tour de France

Philipsen Benefits from the World-Class Performance of Mathieu van der Poel

Jasper Philipsen Triumphs Again in Stage 4 of Tour de France in Nogaro. The Belgian is the fastest sprinter in the field and benefits from the lead-out work of Mathieu van der Poel. Competitors are impressed and accuse the duo.

The Beaten and Frustrated of Stage 4 of Tour de France left the scene without a word or gesture. Belgian rider Wout van Aert, as well as European champion Fabio Jakobsen from the Netherlands, disappeared in their team buses in Nogaro, visibly grumpy. Van Aert finished ninth this time, while Jakobsen crashed one and a half kilometers before the finish line.

Van der Poel Puts Himself in the Service of Philipsen

Different reasons indeed to remain silent. If van Aert and Jakobsen had spoken, they would probably have had to admit that Jasper Philipsen from Team Alpecin-Deceuninck is currently the fastest man in the field after the first two sprint stages and two victories. But above all, he has the strongest lead-out rider in front of him - Mathieu van der Poel.

Van der Poel is one of the great stars of cycling. Cyclo-cross world champion, winner of prestigious classics such as Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix, Tour de France stage winner, and wearer of the Yellow Jersey. He also has his own ambitions at the Tour, but in sprints, he fully supports Jasper Philipsen. "It's a privilege to have him in front of me in the sprint," explained Philipsen.

Delivered at the 150-Meter Mark

The duo also impresses the competition. "Mathieu is one of the best riders in the world, not only the best lead-out rider but overall," said Caleb Ewan, who sprinted to second place in Nogaro. "Of course, they benefit from it."

This time, van der Poel took over the lead with Philipsen behind him about 350 meters before the finish line and delivered his sprinter at the 150-meter mark. From there, the Belgian only had to finish the job. "Honestly, I didn't have much left in my legs, so I was glad it was only a short sprint," said Philipsen.

However, things didn't go smoothly for Alpecin-Deceuninck in the preparation for the sprint. "We had to improvise a bit," said Philipsen, whose lead-out train got disrupted in the finale, just like the other teams. But at least he managed to find Mathieu van der Poel's crucial wheel for himself.

Many Turns in the Finale - Three Crashes

After a long time spent at a leisurely pace, the stage, which even Philipsen referred to as "one of the most boring Tour stages in a long time," turned extremely hectic in the final kilometers on the Paul Armagnac racetrack. The seven turns in the last 2000 meters resulted in three crashes involving several riders and once again led to criticism of the route planners.

"It was extremely dangerous," criticized van der Poel. "It was even more dangerous than yesterday. When you include so many turns on regular roads, there are comments, but apparently, it's okay on a racetrack."

Penalty for van der Poel, Accusations against Philipsen

In the chaotic finale, van der Poel himself had a clash with Biniam Girmay, the sprinter from Intermarché-Circus-Wanty team, whom van der Poel pushed aside during his lead-out preparation for Philipsen. As a result, the jury later imposed a fine of 500 Swiss francs on van der Poel and relegated him from 16th to 22nd place, costing him 13 points in the Green Jersey classification.

The jersey for the best sprinter now rests on the shoulders of Jasper Philipsen after two stage wins. However, he also faced accusations of riding recklessly in Nogaro. This time, it was about the crash of Fabio Jakobsen, who squeezed into a gap between Philipsen and a rider from Team Israel-Premier Tech and fell.

In this case, the accuser was Danny van Poppel from the German World Tour team Bora-hansgrohe. "Sometimes you see someone doing stupid things. And sometimes they do it intentionally," van Poppel told the Dutch TV channel NOS. "That's how it is with Jasper too. He doesn't know what he's doing. I'm not saying he does it intentionally, but that's sprinting."

Next Sprint in Bordeaux

Philipsen rejected the accusation. He stated that he was simply following his team and noticed that Jakobsen was close to him. "Of course, I don't want anyone to crash, but in my opinion, Fabio went into a gap that was way too tight," said the stage winner.

The agitated sprinters will now have some time to cool down in the upcoming days. On Wednesday and Thursday, they will head to the Pyrenees, where the focus for the fast-paced cyclists will be to finish the stage within the time limit. On the seventh stage to Bordeaux, one of the most prestigious sprint finishes of the Tour de France, they will be back in their element. It remains to be seen whether the competition will find an answer to Jasper Philipsen - and especially Mathieu van der Poel.

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