Jasper Philipsen stamps his authority on Tour de France as Mark Cavendish loses out in chaotic sprint

Alpecin-Deceuninck sprinter showed he is the fastest man at the Tour de France

Jasper Philipsen wins stage four of 2023 Tour de France
(Image credit: Michael Steele / Getty)

Jasper Philipsen stamped his authority on the Tour de France winning the second sprint in the row.

The Belgian came through a chaotic sprint that featured three separate crashes to take the victory on stage four of the Tour de France.

Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Dstny) gave him a close run for his money but lost out on a bike throw to the line.

About a bike length back was Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) in third. Mark Cavendish, chasing a record 35th stage win, was a further bike length behind as he just lost out to Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) for fourth place.

“It was close in the end so I was happy they confirmed [the result] quickly,” said Philipsen, referencing the review of the finish by the commissaries yesterday.

The sprint was chaotic with three separate crashes among the victims was Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal - Quick-Step).

Philipsen added: “I heard some crashes around me so I hope everyone is ok. It was a hectic finale and I lost my team but in the final straight I found Mathieu van der Poel and he did an amazing pull to get me to victory.

Philipsen also pulled on the green jersey courtesy of the stage win and his win in the intermediate sprint earlier in the day.

The Belgian left no doubt that he is the fastest man in the world right now.

How it happened

The day’s racing  had been very sedate until the intermediate sprint which unbeknown to anyone at the time shadowed the eventual result with Philipsen the victor.

Soon after that, with just 88km left to race a break of Anthony Delaplace (Arkea Samsic) and Benoit Cosnefroy (Ag2R Citroën) went off the front of the bunch in a doomed bid for glory.

They were eventually reeled in and the sprinters teams went to work slowly increasing the pace of the peloton. 

As things entered the motor racing circuit at Nogaro the bunch was strung out and despite the wide roads and smooth tarmac there were a series of crashes within the final kilometer. First to go down was Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal - Quick-Step) then Louis Leon Sanchez fell in the final bend and a further two riders crashed in the finishing straight.

Few sprinters had team-mates in the final. But Philipsen was not one of them with Mathieu van der Poel, a rider more than capable of contesting such a finish himself, provided an expert lead-out getting the Belgian up to speed before he launched his sprint to victory. Ewan was gaining fast, but not fast enough.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.