Philipsen Sprints to Victory in Stage 7 of Tour de France 2023
While suffering in the mountains of the previous stages and fighting to complete the stages within the time limit, the sprinters in the Tour de France peloton had been awaiting the coming of stage 7 – a flat and sprinter-friendly stage.
Race organizer A.S.O. had designed stage 7 as a 169.9-kilometer stage from Mont-de-Marsan to Bordeaux. The terrain was flat, the weather was hot and given the fact that most participating teams had included sprinters in their Tour de France line-ups, it appeared most teams were not interested in taking part in any breakaways and rather saved their energy for the stage finale.
Only a few riders attempted to launch a breakaway in the first kilometers of the stage. Riders from a few teams such as Uno-X Pro Cycling were active at the front, but eventually only Team Arkea-Samsic’s Frenchman Simon Guglielmi broke away and built a significant gap.
With Guglielmi as sole bunny ahead of the rest, the main peloton cruised along the beautiful roads slowly making their way towards Bordeaux. While most people recognize Bordeaux for its delicious wines, the terrain surrounding the roads was instead dominated by forests and fruit plantations.
Guglielmi had a two-minute advantage with eighty kilometers left of today’s stage. 74 kilometers from the finish, Guglielmi was joined by AG2R-Citroen’s Nans Peters and Pierre Latour of TotalEnergies. The trio had a 01:20 minute advantage with sixty kilometers left to battle.
The forests and fruit plantations were replaced by vineyards as the riders approached Bordeaux. To wine connoisseurs Bordeaux is known for appellations such as Pauillac, Saint-Émilion, Margaux, Haut-Medoc, and Pessac-Leognan.
Guglielmi was dropped on the Cote de Beguey – a minor bump on the otherwise flat stage route. The main peloton had now increased its speed and were eager to initiate the build-up for the decisive mass sprint in Bordeaux. Perhaps some of the riders were looking forward to an evening dinner in a city known for its delicious gastronomy and its many Michelin Star restaurants.
Latour remained in front with five kilometers left, but the chasing sprinter lead-out trains had reduced his advantage to a mere ten seconds. Latour was caught by the peloton with 3.5 kilometers left to battle.
The finale was on for the sprinter teams Lidl-Trek, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Bahrain-Victorious, Soudal-QuickStep and other teams had sent their riders to the front and the lead-out trains were working hard to set up their sprinters perfectly for the sprint across the finish line.
Alpecin-Deceuninck were leading as the riders entered the final kilometer.
Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Mathieu Van der Poel launched his sprint. Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula) moved towards the front. Mark Cavendish (Astana) accelerated in impressive manner and looked set to take the stage win. But Jasper Philipsen once again proved the fastest man of the day. Alas no stage victory for Cavendish today in his final Tour de France.
Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) remains general classification leader ahead of Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).
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