What's Cool In Road Cycling

TOUR’23 Stage 3: Jasper Jumps to Stage Sprint Win!

The first 2023 Tour sprint battle

Tour Stage Report: The first sprint stage of the 2023 Tour de France didn’t disappoint. Alpecin-Deceunick’s Jasper Philipsen was taken to the last metres by Mathieu van der Poel, before he unleashed his jump to take the win ahead of Phil Bauhaus, Caleb Ewan and Fabio Jakobsen. Adam Yates held the overall lead.

The first sprinter’s stage of the 2023 Tour de France was won by Jasper Philipsen. The Belgian managed to complete a very strong lead-out from his teammate and last man Mathieu van der Poel at the finishing in Bayonne. There was a bit of a nail biting after the finish due to the jury. Phil Bauhaus was second, Caleb Ewan third.

tdf23 st3
Is it the day for Mark Cavendish?

Christian Prudhomme on stage 3: “Another phase begins as the race reaches French soil in the department of Pyrenees-Atlantiques, where the sprinters will for once be to the fore. The profile of the closing kilometres for what is the Tour’s reunion with Bayonne will give the sprinters’ teams the chance to manoeuvre their lead-out trains into position. The winner of the first sprint always gets a big lift from their success.”

tdf23 st3
Stage 3 profile

The riders had to cross the border to France today, in a stage over 193.5 kilometres. In an expected sprinter’s stage from Amorebieta to Bayonne, the race was all still in the Basque Country. This was always going to be the first chance for the sprinters this Tour. Who would it be: Jasper Philipsen, Dylan Groenewegen, Fabio Jakobsen or Caleb Ewan?

Sunday’s stage 2 winner, Victor Lafay, also has the green jersey

There wasn’t much enthusiasm for the ‘break of the day’. There was the Cat 3 Côte de Trabakua (4.2km at 5.7%) to climb, so KOM Neilson Powless attacked. The American wanted a few more mountain points. The polka-dot jersey was joined by Frenchman Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic). The peloton was not interested and let them go.

The Yates brothers

Powless and Pichon were soon at the foot of the Côte de Trabakua. At the top, Powless added another 2 mountain points and there were another 5 mountain points up for grabs on the stage. Powless and Pichon therefore rode on, but the peloton held them at catching distance. The peloton was led by sprinter’s teams Alpecin-Deceuninck, Jayco AlUla and Soudal Quick-Step.

tdf23 st3
Laurent Pichon (Arkea Samsic) and KOM Neilson Powless Neilson (EF Education-EasyPost) – break of the day

tdf23 st3
The Basque fans were out again, here in traditional clothing

The difference fluctuated between 2 and 3 minutes for a long time. The main focus was on Powless, who also took all the KOM points on the Côte de Milloi (2.6km at 4.5%) and the Côte d’Itziar (5km at 4.2%). At the intermediate sprint in Deba, it was Mads Pedersen who stayed ahead of Jordi Meeus and Biniam Girmay. The Dane took 13 points in the battle for the green jersey.

Quinten Hermans was the Alpecin-Deceuninck work horse

tdf23 st3
Alpecin-Deceuninck and Soudal Quick-Step were in control of the bunch

Pedersen would not catch the current wearer of the points jersey as Victor Lafay jumped away from the peloton before the sprint to grab some extra points. The French Tour revelation took 15 points and then let himself be caught by the peloton. With more than 90 kilometres to go, the hardest climb was still to come, the Côte de Benta (5.4km at 6.1%). Powless was again first. The peloton was 2 minutes later.

tdf23 st3
The break passing a proud Basque dog

Of course Tim Declercq was at the front

After the descent of the Côte de Benta, Powless sat up, knowing that there were no more KOM points. Pichon pushed on with 80 kilometres still to cover to the finish. The brave Frenchman was caught with 37 kilometres to go. The sprinter’s teams could then prepare for the sprint. The nervousness increased visibly as the finish got closer.

tdf23 st3
The Basque fans won’t let you down

tdf23 st3
The route followed the coast to the Spanish/French border

With 15 kilometres to go, the pace really picked up and there was a lot of fighting to get into and stay in the right position. Soudal Quick-Step, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Jayco AlUla and Jumbo-Visma tried to put their sprint trains in position as best as possible. Soudal Quick-Step took the lead going into the last 3 kilometres, but Alpecin-Deceuninck took over at just the right time. Sinkeldam and Van der Poel were the lead-out men for Philipsen. Van der Poel was the last man to pilot his Belgian teammate with a huge turn on the front.

Up towards San Sebastián/Donostia again

tdf23 st3
After the last climb of the day, Pinchon went solo

Philipsen took up the sprint with Van Aert in his wheel. Van Aert tried to pass Philipsen next to the barriers, but had no room and had to be satisfied with fifth place. Philipsen kept his effort going to the finish line and held off Phil Bauhaus and Caleb Ewan. After the finish there was a long wait for Philipsen, as the jury was examining the sprint. They were considering that the Belgian had cut off Van Aert in the last metres, but the jury stayed with the decision and Philipsen was declared the winner.

tdf23 st3
Big sprint, but Philipsen had it

Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It was a tense final, but this is the Tour de France: there are no presents to nobody, everybody goes all-in. I can be really happy with my team’s performance, great lead-out with Jonas and Mathieu. I am really happy I kept it to the finish line. It’s amazing to have Mathieu van der Poel as a lead-out man. If he had the space to go, for sure he has the speed to fight for the win. It was a tricky final, with that bend close to the finish line, and I took the shortest way to the finish. The first sprint is the most nervous one, as everybody is fresh and motivated. There was a lot of stress bunch with 70 to go. Everyone fighting for the win. We will try to go for another stage win in the coming stages, as soon as tomorrow. I’m super happy to win the first sprint.”

Win for Philipsen, or…

Overall leader, Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates): “It has been a nice day out there. For us it’s been more about recovering as much as possible. It’s hard to have the chance to do so in the Tour de France, so we try and grab every chance we get. As for the rest, it was all about staying out of trouble and possible crashes, and avoid any carnage that may happen. In the end, it went well. The first sprint day it’s always tense. The route has been nice in these first stages, as there has been some road furniture here and there yet there have also been many well-surfaced, wide roads.”

A happy Apecin-Deceunick team – Van der Poel and Philipsen

# Stay PEZ for everything Tour. #

Tour de France Stage 3 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck in 4:43:15
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Dstny
4. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Soudal Quick-Step
5. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Astana Qazaqstan
7. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jayco AlUla
9. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek
10. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 3:
1. Adam Yates (GB) UAE Team Emirates at 13:52:33
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
3. Simon Yates (GB) Jayco AlUla
4. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:12
5. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:16
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:17
7. Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:22
8. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Lidl-Trek.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.