July 7, 2023
Mont-de-Marsan to Bordeaux
Jasper Philipsen won the sprint into Bordeaux, clinching his third stage win in this Tour. But his lead up to the line showed he could only have won after switching streams from the right where he was getting a losing lead out from Alpecin-Deceuninck teammate Mathieu van der Poel to the left, and using Mark Cavendish as a lead-out man, Philipsen won the stage.
Tricky business, and not inconsistent with his previous win where he pushed out Jumbo Visma rider Wout Van Aert to the barriers, and closed off Van Aert’s line to the finish. On that stage, his actions had to be reviewed by race officials before his win was announced. Twenty minutes later he was declared not guilty of blocking Van Aert, but for many viewers, he definitely did. Still, though many cyclists–including apparently the brass at the 2023 Tour de France, think his tactics show pluck and sportsmanship, to others it is questionable. Without Cavendish to use as lead out man today, where would Philipsen be? Behind, of course.
Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) rounded out the podium as he reached the top 3 for the first time at the Tour de France.
Simon Guglielmi (Arkea-Samsic) was first on the attack right after flag off. Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) and Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) caught up with him but gave up one after each other, leaving the Frenchman alone in the lead at km 4.
Guglielmi’s maximum advantage was 7’15’’ at km 18, after which Alpecin-Deceunink and Lotto-Dstny organized at the front of the peloton. Guglielmi won the intermediate sprint, followed by Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis).
79 km before the end, Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) and Nans Peters (AG2R-Citroën) attacked from the bunch. Five kilometers further, they caught up with the lone leader. The time difference with the peloton was 50’’ with 50 km to go.
Guglielmi couldn’t hold the pace in the côte de Béguey (cat. 4) where Latour passed first with 39 km remaining. Guglielmi was logically awarded the most combative prize. Latour and Peters forged on until they got reeled in the streets of Bordeaux, Peters with 6 km to go and Latour 3.5 km before the finish line.