Tour de France 2023: Jasper Philipsen Prevails in Controversial Stage 3 Sprint

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reviewed by Rory McAllister
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Two riders race down a high street on Tour de France 2023 Stage 3.
© A.S.O./Charly Lopez

Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Jasper Philipsen crossed the line a wheel’s length ahead of Phil Bauhaus in a thrilling bunch sprint in Stage 3, as the Tour de France returned to French soil.

The stage win was aided by an incredibly impressive lead-out from teammate and cyclocross World Champion Mathieu van der Poel.

Philipsen was just too fast for last year’s green jersey winner Wout van Aert, as the visibly frustrated Belgian missed out on what was a second opportunity in a row to take a stage win this year.

The finish sparked controversy and talk of potential impeding by Jasper Philipsen on Wout van Aert in the dying stages of the sprint.

Van Aert launched the sprint initially on the right-hand side of Philipsen as the riders were hugging the left-hand barriers. Philipsen’s speed swung him out to the right-hand side of the road after a left turn, leaving Wout van Aert with no road to ride into.

Although there was slight elbow contact between the two riders, it was deemed a legal sprint since the shape of the course in the final few hundred meters made Philipsen’s line a natural one.

Legendary British sprinter Mark Cavendish was also deprived of a record-breaking 35th career stage win in the Tour de France and crossed the line in 6th place.

In what was a clear day for the sprinters, the General Classification remains largely unchanged with Adam Yates’ slender 6-second lead over his team leader Tadej Pogačar and twin-brother Simon intact.

More importantly, perhaps, Pogačar retains his 11-second lead over rival Jonas Vingegaard, with a lot more battling between the two most recent winners to come.

Yesterday’s stage winner Victor Lafay launched a successful early attack for the intermediate sprint and will remain in the green jersey for tomorrow’s Stage 4.

“I tried to take the shortest route to the finish”

“It was a bit of a doubt, but they make it really exciting in the end,” Jasper Philipsen told ITV4.

“It was tense, but it’s the Tour de France and there are no presents,” he said, referring to the check of the legality of the sprint that left him waiting for over five minutes for the final results of the stage.

“We can be really happy with the team performance. It was a great lead-out with Jonas [Rickaert] and then Mathieu [van der Poel] did a fantastic job, and I’m really happy to keep it to the finish line.”

UAE Team Emirates Adam Yates retains the yellow jersey on a somewhat quiet day for the General Classification. In the post-stage interview with ITV4, he reflected on his team’s relaxed tactics for the day.

“It was a nice day for us, it was more about recovering a little bit, as much as possible. It’s not an easy thing to do in the Tour de France so every chance we get to recover we will, and today was one of those days.

“So we took it easy and even in the sprint at the end we tried to stay back, stay out of the crashes and all the carnage and I think we did a good job.”

Tour De France 2023: Stage 3 Results

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceunnick/BEL): 4 Hours, 43 Minutes, 15 Seconds

2. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious/GER): Same time

3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny/AUS)

4. Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal – QuickStep/NED)

5. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma/BEL)

6. Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazqstan/GB)

7. Jordi Meeus (Bora Hansgrohe/BEL)

8. Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco – AlUla/NED)

9. Mads Pederson (Lidl – Trek/DEN)

10. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis/FRA)

Tour de France 2023 General Classification Standings After Stage 3

1. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates/GB): 13 Hours, 52 Minutes, 33 Seconds

2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates/SLO): + 6 secs

3. Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula/GB): + 6 secs

4. Victor Lafay (Cofidis/FRA): + 12 secs

5. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma/BEL): + 16 secs

6. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma/DEN): + 17 secs

7. Michael Woods (Israel Premier-Tech/CAN): + 22 secs

8. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe/AUS): Same time

9. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers/ESP): Same time

10. Skjelmose Jensen (Lidl – Trek/DEN): Same time

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Jack is an experienced cycling writer based in San Diego, California. Though he loves group rides on a road bike, his true passion is backcountry bikepacking trips. His greatest adventure so far has been cycling the length of the Carretera Austral in Chilean Patagonia, and the next bucket-list trip is already in the works. Jack has a collection of vintage steel racing bikes that he rides and painstakingly restores. The jewel in the crown is his Colnago Master X-Light.

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