Tour de France 2023: Philipsen Clinches Second Consecutive Victory Amidst Stage 4 Chaos

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reviewed by Rory McAllister
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The peloton on Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour de France.
© A.S.O./Charly Lopez

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) claimed his second consecutive victory on Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour de France, outsprinting Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Dstny) by half a wheel at the line in Nogaro.

The riders covered 181.8 km from Dax to Nogaro, with Philipsen’s teammate Mathieu van der Poel once again providing a crucial lead-out.

The stage was marred by multiple crashes, particularly in the final kilometers where the hectic mix of sprinters’ teams and GC contenders vying for position led to chaos.

The most prominent victim was Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal-QuickStep), who managed to get back on his bike and finish the stage despite being visibly injured.

Several other riders, including Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Qazaqstan) and Axel Zingle (Cofidis), were less fortunate and required hospital checks.

Despite the chaos, Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) finished in a commendable fifth place.

The Brit continues his pursuit of breaking the record for the most stage wins, even though he admitted that none of the teams’ plans for the finale went as expected.

Chaos and Carnage

Although the majority of Stage 4 was relatively sedate, the final kilometers saw a chaotic conclusion that resulted in numerous crashes and a dramatic sprint finish.

With narrow roads leading into the Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro and teams jostling for position, the tension was palpable.

The day’s flat profile had set the stage for a sprint finish, with the final straight on the motor circuit promising a thrilling showdown.

However, it was a crash-marred finish that took some shine off the sprint contest.

Nevertheless, amidst the tumult, the sprinters forged ahead, setting the stage for the razor-close finish between Jasper Philipsen and Caleb Ewan.

“A bit of a hectic final”

After his nail-biting victory, Philipsen acknowledged the stage’s chaotic conclusion. “It was a bit of a hectic final with the turns in the end.”

He expressed relief at having avoided the crashes around him and hope that all the fallen riders were okay.

Philipsen also commended Mathieu van der Poel for his vital role in the lead-out, even as he admitted his own legs were cramping towards the end.

Despite the difficulties, he was pleased with the win, although he expressed surprise at the trickiness of the turns on what was supposed to be a safer, wider finishing stretch.

The victory puts Philipsen in a commanding position in the green jersey competition, but he remains cautious, reminding everyone that “the Tour is a long, long way.”

In the race for the yellow jersey, there were no significant shake-ups, with the general classification contenders finishing safely in the peloton.

As the Tour heads into the Pyrenees in the coming days, the focus will shift from the sprinters to the climbers and GC contenders. But for now, Philipsen can bask in the glow of his second successive stage win.

Tour de France 2023: Stage 4 Results

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck/BEL): 4 Hours, 25 Minutes, 28 Seconds

2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny/AUS): + 0 secs

3. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious/GER): + 0 secs

4. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis/FRA): + 0 secs

5. Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team/GB): + 0 secs

6. Danny Van Poppel (BORA – hansgrohe/NED): + 0 secs

7. Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team/NOR): + 0 secs

8. Luka Mezgec (Team Jayco AlUla/SLO): + 0 secs

9. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma/BEL): + 0 secs

10. Mads Pedersen (Lidl – Trek/DEN): + 0 secs

Tour de France 2023 General Classification Standings After Stage 4

1. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates/GB): 18 Hours, 18 Minutes, 01 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. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl – Trek/DEN): Same time

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Quentin's background in bike racing runs deep. In his youth, he won the prestigious junior Roc d'Azur MTB race before representing Belgium at the U17 European Championships in Graz, Austria. Shifting to road racing, he then competed in some of the biggest races on the junior calendar, including Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, before stepping up to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Paris-Roubaix as an U23. With a breakthrough into the cut-throat environment of professional racing just out of reach, Quentin decided to shift his focus to embrace bike racing as a passion rather than a career. Now writing for BikeTips, Quentin's experience provides invaluable insight into performance cycling - though he's always ready to embrace the fun side of the sport he loves too and share his passion with others.

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